Setu means a bridge. Setu Bandha means the construction of a bridge. In Setu Bandhasana, the whole body forms an arch and is supported at one end by the crown of the head and at the other on the feet, hence the name.
- Lie flat on the back on the floor. Take a few deep breaths. Bend the knees, widen the legs at the knees and bring the heels in towards the buttocks.
- Keep the heels together and rest the outer sides firmly on the floor.
- Bring the hands by the side of the head and, with an exhalation, raise the trunk and arch the body up to rest the crown of the head on the floor. Pull the head as far back as possible by stretching the neck up and lifting the dorsal and lumbar regions of the back off the floor.
- Fold the arms across the chest and hold the left elbow with the right hand and the right elbow with the left hand. Take 2 or 3 breaths.
- Exhale, draw the hips up and stretch out the legs until they are straight. Join the feet and press them firmly to the ground. The whole body now forms a bridge or an arch. One end of it is supported by the crown of the head and the other end on the feet.
- Hold this position for a few seconds with normal breathing.
- Exhale, unfold the arms and place the hands on the floor, bend the knees, lower the legs and trunk to the floor, release the head grip, straighten the neck, lie flat on the back and relax.
Effects of Setu Bandhasana
Setu Bandhasana strengthens the neck and tones the cervical, dorsal, lumbar and sacral regions of the spine. The extensor muscles of the back grow powerful and the hips are contracted and hardened. The pineal, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands are bathed in blood and function properly.