Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - Bridge pose for Heart Health and Cancer Survivor Relief
How This Helps
Bridge pose done correctly provides another opportunity for the chest area to expand, undoing any habits of slumping forward or rounding the back. With the chest open, we are able to breathe better and the muscles in the chest continually open rather than constrict inward – thus being called a heart opener.
Like Bhujangasana, this pose is within the backbending, heart-opening category of yoga postures. This can be done with muscles actively working or with the muscles relaxed, with the support of a prop like a block.
1. Begin by lying down on your back with the knees bent. The feet are on the floor and they are as wide as your hips
2. Extend the arms next to the body
3. Draw the feet closer until the heels (the ends of the feet) are touching the tips of your middle fingers
4. Inhale. Press the lower back flat to the floor
5. Exhale. Lift your hips up as high as you can gaze upwards at one unmoving point
6. Keep on pressing your arms down on the floor, to help lift your hips up. If you’re comfortable you may also bring your hands underneath your body and interlace your fingers into a fist.
7. To keep yourself safe, make sure your knees and toes are pointing forward and that you are not squeezing your glut muscles too much.
8. If you’d like to try lifting up higher, squeeze your inner thigh muscles together to help you raise your hips.
9. You can stay here anywhere from 3 to 8 breath cycles of even inhales and exhales.