Half Bridge Pose (Ardha Setu Bandhasana)
Half Bridge Pose is commonly practiced after Plough pose, as a counter pose for the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. It improves and complements the benefits of Shoulderstand and Plough Pose.
How to come into the pose
- Lie down on your back, bend your knees, and bring your feet close to your hips. Keep your feet hip width apart and heels on the floor.
- Place your hands by your sides, palms facing downward
- Breathe in, push your hands into the floor, and slowly lift your hips up to the ceiling
- Reach with your hands toward your ankles and bring your chest toward your chin.
- Keep lifting your pelvis upward and back toward your head and breathe evenly.
Coming out of the pose
Place your palms flat on the floor and vertebra-byvertebra roll the back down toward the floor.
Regular practice in a steady and comfortable manner within a balanced yoga asana program
- stimulates the Heart Chakra and therefore stimulates your heart, lungs, thymus, and lymph glands;
- stimulates your thyroid and parathyroid glands;
- slows heart beat and reduces blood pressure (if chest is raised high enough to press into the chin);
- stretches your spine in the opposite direction than in Shoulderstand and Plough Pose and therefore reverses the compression of the lumbar and thoracic regions;
- strengthens abdominal and lumbar muscles;
- rejuvenates and tones the legs and buttocks;
- stretches intercostals and can be therapeutic for asthma; and
- releases lower back tension and pain and rejuvenates tired back muscles.