In this topic we will discuss two backward bending asanas – setu asana and chakrasana. These two asanas give similar benefits; therefore it is not necessary to do both of them. Those who are able should practise the more difficult chakrasana; those who cannot do chakrasana can practise setu asana instead.
Setu Asana (Bridge Pose)
The Sanskrit word setu means ‘bridge’. Therefore, in English this asana can be called ‘bridge pose”.
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched forwards. Place the palms of your hands on the floor to the side and behind the buttocks. This is the starting position.
Your arms should be straight with the fingers pointing backwards; the trunk should be inclined backwards. Inhale deeply. Raise your buttocks as high as is comfortable. Let your head hang backwards and downwards between the two arms. Hold the breath. This is the final pose.
try to place the soles of the feet fully on the ground. Keep the legs and arms straight.
Stay in the final pose for a comfortable duration: then return to the starting position. Repeat a number of times according to available time.
Inhale deeply while in the starting position. Hold the breath while raising, maintaining the final pose and lowering the body. Exhale on returning to the starting position.
Further details such as benefits, awareness and so forth are as given for chakrasana.