Restorative Poses

Setu Bandha over bolster (Bridge Pose)

Bridge Pose over a bolster
Level: All levels

Setu = bridge. Bandha = Lock or restraint. Refers to a pose where certain organs or body parts are contracted or controlled.

If you lack a bolster, or of the bolster is too high, you can substitute folded blankets.

Organizing the Pose

    • Lie back over the bolster until only the shoulders come to the floor.
    • If desired, rest the feet on the block so that the belly, the hips and the legs are horizontal.
    • Hold this position for several minutes.
    • Bend the knees and plant the feet flat. Lift the hips and slide the bolster out of the way and curl the spine down vertebra by vertebra until the sacrum comes down to the floor last of all.
    • Roll on over to the right and press yourself up.
    • If you want more of a chest opening, place blankets on the bolster.
    • If your shoulders do not reach the floor, use folded blankets instead of a bolster, or place a blanket or two at the end of the bolster for under the shoulders.
    • With the feet at the same level as the hips and shoulders, this becomes an ideal restorative substitution for Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) especially if you have your period and do not wish to invert.

Practice Points

    • Soften the thighs and the belly.
    • Soften the ribs, chest and shoulders.
    • Allow the breath to freely fill the upper ribcage.
    • Soften the neck and throat.
    • Soften the face, the eyes and the jaw.