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.


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