Yoga Journal - - Contents -

How to move from Setu Bandha Sar­van­gasana (Bridge Pose) to Eka Pada Vi­parita Dan­dasana (One-Legged In­verted Staff Pose) with yoga teacher Mea­gan McCrary, au­thor of Pick Your Yoga Prac­tice.

setu = bridge á bandha = build­ing or lock á sarva = all á anga = limbs á asana = pose


Opens your shoul­ders and chest; strength­ens your back, glutes, and ham­strings; stretches your hip flex­ors and thighs; in­creases flex­i­bil­ity of your spine; calms your mind


1 Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, hip­width apart, heels di­rectly be­low your knees. Leave your up­per arms on the floor and bend your el­bows along­side your ribs, point­ing your fore­arms and fin­gers to­ward the ceil­ing. Turn your palms to face one another.

2 Press your el­bows and shoul­der heads down into the floor, lift your chest, and bring your shoul­der blades onto your up­per back, wrap­ping your outer arms to­ward the floor. Keep your gaze straight up.

3 Press into your feet and slowly send your knees for­ward, wrap­ping your outer hips to­ward the ceil­ing; then lift your but­tocks away from the floor. Lengthen your tail­bone to­ward the backs of your knees.

4 Straighten your el­bows and in­ter­lace your fin­gers un­der­neath you, draw­ing your shoul­der blades deeper into your up­per back, keep­ing the tops of your shoul­ders in line with the base of your neck.

5 Gen­tly press the cen­ter of the back of your head into the floor. Broaden your col­lar­bones and lift your chest, bring­ing your ster­num to­ward your chin. Lightly reach your chin away from your chest, keep­ing space be­tween the back of your neck and the floor. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­tend out through your knees as you lift your ster­num. Take a few rounds of breath here.

6 To re­lease, un­lace your fin­gers and slowly lower your torso back to the floor.

Bridge Pose

DON’T clench your butt cheeks or push your in­ner groins to­ward the ceil­ing, which strains the low back. In­stead, hug your in­ner knees to­ward one an­other and re­lease your in­ner thighs down to­ward the floor be­fore lightly length­en­ing your tail­bone to­ward...

DON’T let your feet turn out, which closes off the space in your low back. In­stead, keep the outer edges of your feet par­al­lel to the outer edges of your mat.

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