WHO CAN PERFORM THE ASANA?
This asana should not be performed by people suffering from lumbar lordosis.
PLACE IN THE SERIES OF ASANAS
This pose comes right after Sarvangasana. It requires a little time for execution, and is easy to integrate in the daily practice.
HOW TO PERFORM THE ASANA
THE STARTING POSITION
The starting position of this asana is Sarvangasana. Beginners may start by lying down on the floor.
THE FIRST STAGE
Place your hands on the waist, the thumbs towards the exterior of the torso. This pose is known as Viparita Karani Mudra. In Sarvangasana, the hands are placed to support the torso perpendicularly to the floor. At this point, the body is supported on the palms and the four remaining fingers, not on the thumbs.
If in Ardha-Setu-Bandhasana the hands are not in the proper position, the descending movement of the lower part of the body will be impossible to control.
THE SECOND STAGE
Bend the right knee and bring the knee close to the body; this leg will act as a counter-weight during the descending movement.
THE THIRD STAGE
Lower the left leg to the floor, gradually, inch by inch. In the beginning, you may lose control and fall to the floor, but you need to keep trying and practicing until you succeed. In time, you will be able to control the descending movement.
The simple bridge – SETU ASANA
Create the bridge by bringing the right leg next to the left, with the sole on the floor. In this position, breathe deeply and slowly for about half a minute. You are now in SETU ASANA.
The bridge in harmonious tension – A variant of SETU-BANDHASANA
The harmonious tension can be created from the very beginning or it can be created after we have breathed deeply and slowly for half a minute. To perform this asana we need to push the legs away from the torso, towards the front, keeping the soles on the floor during this entire time.
The soles need to be completely on the floor. Continue to breathe as slowly as you can, without forcing in any way. In the beginning, the breath will tend to accelerate, due to the intensity of this asana.
CAUTION! For this stretching, we may need to change the position of the hands again. Place them on the lumbar area, with the thumbs oriented towards the spine. Thus, the lumbar area benefits from the harmonious tension and the intense flexing.
THE VARIANT OF THE POSE WITH ONE LEG UP – ARDHA-SETU-BANDHASANA
One of the main purposes of this asana is to intensely energize the lumbar area. In the variant “The simple bridge”, the tension is bearable. In the variant “The bridge in harmonious tension”, it is very much accentuated.
Being in “The bridge in harmonious tension” pose raise one leg up, stretching the sole, just like a ballerina. This harmonious contraction compresses the veins deep in the feet and activates the circulation.
After reaching this position breathe slowly ten times and return the leg slowly to the floor. Repeat the posture with the other leg.
Finally, relax the whole body on the floor and rest for three minutes, perceiving the beneficialial effects of this asana.
The lifted leg will amplify even more the activation of the lumbar area. All the muscles of this leg are contracted.
One execution of this asana, followed by the perception of the subtle effects is enough.
ERRORS TO AVOID
Avoid the wrong positioning of the hands on the waist. If you place them too far from the pelvis, and the wrists are not supple, you may experience some pains in the palms and fingers.
This asana improves the suppleness and flexibility of the spine and eases the practice of other poses, such as Chakrasana.
From a medical point of view, it acts efficiently on the parasympathetic nervous system from the sacral area. The activity of the body is regulated through the complementary action of the sympathetic system, which spreads along the spine, on one side, and along the parasympathetic system on the other side. The parasympathetic system ensures the control of the genital and urinary organs.
Ardha-Setu-Bandhasana acts powerfully on this part of the parasympathetic system. It brings and preserves health and good function of these organs that are very important, not only from a sexual point of view, but also from a hormonal one.
Indirectly, through the beneficialial and harmonious stimulation of the secretion of sexual hormones, this pose acts on the entire body, and this is why this asana is unique in terms of regeneration and rejuvenation of the body.
This stimulation is psychosomatic, not chemical or artificial and does not risk causing over-excitation or an excess of hormonal secretion. After reaching maximum levels, the balance is preserved through continued performance of this asana.