Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) – Overview

Lesson Overview

  • Features: Setu Bandhasana (Bridge), and related poses such as Dwi Pada Pitham (Two Legged Table / Half Bridge)
  • Objective: Become knowledgeable about the pose and review detailed teaching considerations.
  • Description: Explain the Sanskrit naming; contraindications and cautions; associated benefits and typical effects; instructions and cues for setting up and practicing the pose; variations to meet particular intentions and needs; and more teaching considerations.

Setu Bandhasana

SET–too BAHN–dah


“setu” = bridge

“bandha” = lock

“setu bandha” = construction of a bridge (BKS Iyengar)

Bridge Pose

Also known as: Setu Bandha, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana and Dwi Pada Pitham

Dwi Pada Pitham


“dwi” = two

“pada” = foot

“pitham” = stool, seat, chair bench

Two Foot Pose

Also known as: Two Legged Table and Little Bridge Pose

Heart of Pose

  • Backbend / Chest Opener


  • In some traditions, Dwi Pada Pitham refers to the vinyasa of lifting hips on inhale and releasing to floor on exhale.
  • The restorative version of Setu Bandhasana is different than the supported version shown here. In the restorative version, the back is on a lengthwise bolster, head spilling off.
  • Bridge Pose requires hip extension, knee flexion, and scapula adduction and depression.
  • The power of the upper back is directed to squeezing and lowering the shoulder blades.
  • Bridge is the primary preparation for Salamba Sarvangasana.
  • Some sources suggest waiting until student can hold Bridge Pose for quite some time to indicate proper strength before introducing Sarvangasana.
  • Another readiness test for Sarvangasana is that cervical and thoracic spine are both lifted from floor in Bridge Pose.

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