Setu Bandhasana --> Bridge Pose

Setu Bandhasana Health Benefits

Setu Bandhasana is the last posture in AshtangaPrimary Series. It also is the only back bending posture in the Primary Series other than Upward Facing Dog. It is an advance posture so it is advisable not to practice it without a teacher present. If practiced correctly, this posture will open up your chest and keep your spine flexible. Setu Bandhasana strengthens the back muscles and neck. The throat opens, which expands and stretches the esophagus and the chest expands and stretches, which increases the lung capacity.

  • It strengthens chest, back, buttocks, hips and legs
  • Relieves backaches
  • After the posture the body feels very light and relaxed
  • It can calm the brain and reduces stress
  • Improves digestion
  • Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands and abdominal organs
  • Improves blood circulation and normalises blood pressure


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Ubhaya Padangusthasana & Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana--> Both Big Toes Pose & Upward Facing Forward Bend Pose

Ubhaya Padangusthasana is  a seated posture, where both big toes are held with both hands while balancing on your sitting bones. The posture strengthens the abdominal muscles, lengthens the hamstrings as the legs are held straight reaching up diagonally and it is a good chest opener. Its main goal though is the balance improvement. When achieved the steadiness of the posture your blocked energy (prana) from the base of the spine is released and can freely flow upwards. 

  • The posture strengthens abdominal muscles and internal organs
  • It improves digestion
  • It releases the blocked energy in your spine so it rejuvenates the back
  • It stretches the whole spinal cord as the legs are raised upward 
  • Stretches your arms  and improves flexibility in your legs
  • It is a good chest opener
  • Stimulates the nervous system and activates the brain
  • Improves concentration skills

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana is the same posture as the first seated posture in Ashtanga yoga except you are balancing on your sitting bones, while holding the outer sides of your feet and pulling your legs toward your torso. This is also very similar to Ubhaya Padangusthasana, only the stretch is even more intense. It lengthens the entire backside of the body and it improves circulation from head to toe. 

  • Intensely lengthens the leg muscles
  • By stretching the entire spine it can help relieve back aches
  • It tones the internal organs
  • Stimulates the digestive organs and improves digestion
  • Calms the mind and improves concentration
  • Improves balancing skills 
  • Strengthens the hip flexors

Supta Padangusthasana--> Reclined Big Toe Pose

Supta Padangusthasana Health Benefits

Supta Padangusthasana is done by lying down on your back, holding the big toe with your two fingers and stretching the leg towards your head, ideally, with a straight knee, while other leg is straight on the floor. If you can't reach the toe, which is not easy, a strap can be used. The posture can relieve tension and compression in the lower back, which a lot of people are suffering from theses days due to the nature of their work at the desk. The posture, mainly, is focused on the intense stretch of the whole back side of the leg. Furthermore it increase blood circulation in the legs and increases flexibility in the pelvic area.   

  • Relieves stiffness in lower back 
  • Stretches hamstrings and calves
  • Aligns pelvis
  • Strengthens the hip joint and tones the lower spine
  • Improves digestion
  • Can relieves arthritis pain in hips and knees
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure and flat feet