Spotlight on a pose: Dvipada Pitham/Setu Bandhasana

This pose can be called Dvipada Pitham (Two-legged table) or Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose). Some teachers differentiate between the two, calling the dynamic version of the pose Dvipada Pitham (when you move into the pose on the inhalation and move out on the exhalation), and the static version of the pose Setu Bandhasana (when you stay in the pose keeping the arms down, or place your hands on your lower back, or try to reach for your ankles). We also often see those names used interchangeably.

Dvipada Pitham or Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)

Back bend – Symmetrical – Open frame

Main purpose: To stretch the anterior structures of the hips and thighs, as well as chest musculature.

Secondary purpose: To strengthen the posterior structures of the body, especially lower back, glutes and backs of the thighs.

The dynamic version of the pose is often used to compensate for the previous postures. Various arm adaptations help release tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back, while moving the pelvis up and down helps to loosen up the hips (specifically the hip flexors) after seated postures.

The static version of the pose can be used to contract the muscles of the upper back, actively stretch the chest and the back of the neck. Keep in mind that tucking the shoulders under the chest will make the pose more strenuous for the neck, shoulders and lower back. After spending some time in the pose you would need to compensate for its intensity by stretching the upper and lower back, mobilizing the neck and loosening up the shoulders.

How To

On the inhale gradually roll your hips up, pulling the knees slightly away from the hips, but making sure that the knees stay aligned over the ankles.  On the exhale roll down one vertebrae at a time. After repeating the pose few times hold the pose. With every inhalation slightly lengthen from the neck to the knees, with every exhalation contract the abdomen and press your feet firmly into the ground. Keep the back of the neck long.

Adaptations

This is an excellent version to work with the hips, especially the adductor/ abductor relationship. Helps to keep the sacrum happy, too #yoga #YogaPose #sacrum #dvipadaPithamAdaptations1 #dvipadaadaptationssw ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Arms out works great for students who have shoulder mobility issues. It is also useful if you want to stretch the chest without tensing the upper back. Be sure to keep the shoulders away form the ears. #bridgepose #DvipadaPitham #shoulders #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: One arm over head is excellent for stretching the side of the neck and mobilizing the shoulder. It is very useful when your neck feels tight. You can also use this version to compensate for other more difficult postures that have you hold your head in a fixed position. #bridgepose #neckstretch #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Split arm movement works well both to mobilize the shoulders and to train your attention. You have to focus to keep track of the arm movement, which means that you cannot think of anything else 🙂 #bridgepose #neckstretch #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham works great to strengthen and stabilize the posterior (back) structures of the body. You might hear mixed instructions for this pose asking you to "actively engage the glutes" or to "not engage the glutes". Which one is it? Well, the job of the Gluteus Maximus is to extend the hip, and it is mostly used when some force is required. When you lift your pelvis up, you ARE extending your hip and you use force to press your feet into the ground. So your glutes WILL engage to accomplish this action. On the other hand, there is no need to intentionally tense them - instead focus on pressing the feet down into the ground. #yogapose #glutes #bridgepose #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaHowTo #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Block between the knees is very useful for working with hip-knee-ankle tracking, which is usually at the root of many knee problems. It also works great for strengthening the inner thighs and increasing overall stability and muscular coordination in the lower body. #bridgepose #knees #yogaprops #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: One leg lift is a challenging pose that strengthens all the muscles of the supporting leg, specifically the glutes and hamstrings. It can be problematic for folks with sensitive scrums and lower backs, so it might not be the best choice for them. It is essential for everyone to keep the pelvis leveled while lifting it up to avoid any sort of sacrum strain. #bridgepose #sacrum #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Fingers interlaced is great for stretching and massaging the area between the shoulder blades. Be sure to pull your arms away from the body as you roll down and then relax the shoulders toward the floor when you roll up. Be sure not to shrug the shoulders toward the ears. #bridgepose #upperback#DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Ankle hold is the most challenging of all Bridge variations; it actively stretches all anterior structures of the body (+the back of the neck) and engages all posterior structures. It can be rather stressful for backs, necks, shoulders and knees because holding on to the ankles creates a closed loop, which makes the pose more stressful for the joints. There needs to be a clear justification for doing this pose, and extensive preparation for all the potentially vulnerable areas listed above. #bridgepose #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Both arms up is a great way to mobilize the shoulders, stretch the neck and lengthen both sides of the torso. #bridgepose #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: One leg extended is a great stretch for the hip flexors on one side. Just be sure that your lower back feels supported and not overextended. You can also experiment with turning the toes of the extended leg slightly out or slightly in to vary the stretch a little. #bridgepose #hipflexors #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: "Robot arms" helps to lift your chest up higher by using arm leverage, which means more active engagement on the upper back and deeper stretch in the neck. Be sure to pull the shoulder blades down toward the waist to avoid shoulder/neck tension. #bridgepose #DvipadaPitham #shoulders #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Both arms up with roll down is excellent for lengthening both sides of the torso and massaging the entire back. Keep stretching upward with your hands when you roll down. #bridgepose #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Heels and toes strengthens the calves and ankles, as well as other posterior structures of the body (hamstrings, glutes and lower back). It is super important that the knees stay align over the ankles when you do this move, so it might be useful to put the block between the knees. #bridgepose #ankles #DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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Dvipada Pitham: Arm sweep is great for mobilizing the shoulders and actively stretching the upper back. Be sure to pull your arms away from the body when you bring them down and widen your shoulder blades. #bridgepose #upperback#DvipadaPitham #SetuBandhasana #DvipadaAdaptations #DvipadaAdaptationsSW ...

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