Restorative Yoga: Supported Setu Bandha [SET-too-BAHN-dah] / Supported Bridge Pose

Image source [2]

“He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.”

– Arabian proverb

Restorative yoga poses are meant to calm the central nervous system (CNS) down and allow the mind and the body to relax into each pose for extended periods of time.  Be mindful of entering into each pose and slowly transitioning into a restful savasana / child’s pose or a restorative side lying position with a pillow supporting your neck to allow your nervous system to adjust to the physical changes from each pose.  Most importantly listen to your body and if for some reason you aren’t comfortable in a specific pose gently move into a different pose that works best for you and your body.

Health Benefits [2, 3, 4, 5]

  • inversion poses bring the head below the heart and the lower extremities above it shifting our perception in space
  • lowered blood pressure
  • lowered heart rate
  • improved circulation throughout the body
  • release of endorphin hormones from the brain
  • deep relaxation and calmness from within stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) from the autonomic nervous system (ANS)

Props Needed:

  • towel or yoga blanket folded to support your neck
  • yoga block (e.g. cork, foam or wooden)
  • yoga mat (optional)


  • passively stretching the psoas and quadricep muscles (rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis) located on the front/ anterior side
  • passively stretching the rectus abdominis from the abdomen
  • passively stretching the pectoralis major from the chest
  • passively stretching the deltoids around the shoulders
  • passively stretching the biceps in the upper arm on the front/ anterior side

Precautions/Contraindications [2, 3, 4, 5]

  • do not perform poses or movements that cause pain or discomfort
  • pregnant beyond the first trimester
  • glaucoma or other eye disorders
  • currently taking any blood pressure medications
  • history of stroke or heart disease
  • diabetes
  • spinal problems
  • chronic neck pain
  • excessive weight
  • head injuries
  • inner ear issues
  • hiatus hernias
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • osteoporosis / osteopenia *

*modification can be a safe option for some talk with teacher before trying

Innervation & Chakra Illuminated [1]

  • femoral nerve (lumbar nerves 2, 3, & 4)
  • second chakra related to sexual organs, bladder, prostate, womb, sacral nerve plexus and kidneys

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  1. Start in a comfortable seated position or siddhasana pose with your eyes closed.
  2. Tune into your breath and how your body is feeling.  On the next inhalation through your nose allow your ribs to expand like an accordion.  On the exhalation allow your body to soften into the floor allowing the air out through your nose or mouth.  Repeat this cycle for at least 5 to 10 rounds taking this time to scan your body for any tension allowing your body to release the tension from your body on each exhalation.  Transition into a supine position on the ground.
  3. Press down through the feet, contracting the quadriceps to lift the torso upward.
  4. Place the block under the sacrum (not under the lumbar region of your spine).
  5. Rest the weight evenly on the block and keep the knees bent with your feet hip width apart and parallel.  Tune into where you have your weight distributed in each foot.  We want an even distribution of weight from all ten toes from left to right as well as your heel bones.  Be mindful of your foot arches.  Notice if they are collapsed onto the floor and visualize drawing them upward into the ceiling or sky above.
  6. Place a folded blanket under your head to hold the neck in a slightly flexed position and let the arms out to the side with your palms up to the ceiling.
  7. Close your eyes and relax here for several minutes (3 to 10 minutes) each time allowing yourself to go deeper into the pose.
  8. Float your hips up to the ceiling and remove the yoga block from behind.  Gently place your low back and sacrum onto the floor again.
  9. When you’re ready with your eyes closed, roll to the right side, resting in the fetal position before returning to a comfortable seated position or siddhasana pose.  Take 5 more even inhalations and exhalations scanning your body.
  10. Tune into your body.  What do you notice from this pose?  How this has pose allowed things to shift and settle within your body?

This is just one of the restorative yoga poses we suggest trying on your own.  We have additional blog post specific to pilates, pre/post natal, bone building for osteoporosis/osteopenia, mindful meditation, restorative yoga therapy, partner and endurance training.  We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach and blend our knowledge and training of movement, nutrition, massage therapy and traditional chinese medicine.

We love teaching mindful movement and are here to support you in your journey. We offer customized online remote training from anywhere in the world. Contact us today to get started and learn to move with less pain and greater ease. We look forward to partnering with you and answering your movement questions and/or concerns.

Assumption of the Risk: By attempting any of the exercises, you do so at your own risk.  We make no representations, guarantees or warranties that the information or exercises on this blog are appropriate for you or will result in improvements of your medical condition or function.

Not medical advice or physical therapy.  This content is intended to provide information and instructions on general exercises that may help increase strength, mobility, and function for specific areas of the body.  It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining a medical diagnosis or medical or physical therapy advice from a qualified licensed provider.  You should seek medical advice from a qualified physician or physical therapist before trying any of the exercises or self-treatment suggestions on this blog, particularly if your pain is from a traumatic injury or event.


  1. DALE, C., 2009. The Subtle Body An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc.
  2. LONG, R., 2020. Anatomy of Arm Balances and Inversions. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
  3. LONG, R., 2010a. Anatomy for Backbends and Twists. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
  4. LONG, R., 2010b. Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
  5. LONG, R., 2010c. Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses . Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publications.