Setu Bandhasana: Bridge Pose

bridge daynaseraye

Setu bandhasana (SET-too bahn-DAH-sa-na) provides a great stretch for the chest, hip flexors, and spine. Practice this pose to strengthen your legs and glutes or as a gentle inversion to calm your mind.

Philosophy + Origin

Like some other yoga poses, the name for bridge pose comes from its physical shape. The bridge pose is also a reminder of the opportunity to cross over from one place to another. The bridge is a connection between two different places, which can be physical, spiritual, or psychological. By forming a bridge with your body, you create a structure that invites transformation, one that can get you from where you are to where you want to be.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • For an additional shoulder stretch, interlace your fingers underneath your hips.
  • Place a bolster or block under your pelvis for a more restorative version.
  • Fold a blanket and place it under your shoulders for extra cushion.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin lying on your back with knees bent, soles of your feet on the ground and knees to the ceiling. Place your feet parallel to each other with heels right under your knees.
  2. Place your arms by your sides, palms face down.
  3. On an exhale, press your feet firmly into the ground. Lift your tailbone off the ground, then lower back, then mid back.
  4. Press your knees forward, away from your hips.
  5. Lift your chest toward your chin, and your chin away from your chest.
  6. Keep your thighs parallel, gently hugging the inner knees toward each other.
  7. Hold for up to one minute. To release, gently lower your hips back down to the ground.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

COUNTER POSES:

  • Happy baby pose | Ananda balasana
  • Reclined bound angle pose | Supta baddha konasana

SANSKRIT:

  • Setu = bridge
  • Bandha = lock
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stretches your chest, spine, and hips.
  • Strengthens your back, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Rejuvenates tired legs.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Calms your brain and soothes your central nervous system.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Encourages transformation.
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Viparita Virabhadrasana: Reverse Warrior Pose

Virabhadrasana

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

In viparita virabhadrasana (VIP-uh-REE-tuh veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh), experience a member of the “warrior” family with an incredible opening in the side of the torso as well as the stretching the legs. By giving the side of your heart an opportunity to shine (as a side bend rather than a back bend), this posture offers all sorts of positive vibes, including a boost of self-esteem and perseverance.

Philosophy + Origin

The general definition of a warrior is someone who “engages in warfare,” which conjures up images of battlefields, weapons, and violence. The power of reverse warrior is to “turn around” this imagery to think about warriorship in different contexts. The idea of a peaceful warrior, or even a light warrior, is used in yoga to remind students that showing up with love and intention in day-to-day life is just as important, if not more so. When practicing reverse warrior, ask yourself to consider definitions or beliefs in your life from another perspective. There are two sides to each coin, and the better you know both sides, the better prepared you will be to live your life with steadiness, grace, and ease.

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