It’s true what they say about yoga. It will bring you to many different places. And by places, I mean emotions and mindset. When you practice yoga, you can discover a place of happiness inside you. It’s the same, even when you’re practicing meditation or practicing an asana such as the dwi pada pitham, also known as Bridge Pose.
The Bridge Pose will bring you to many places. This article will show you three places this pose will take you once you do it as a part of your regular yoga asana practice.
What is the Dwi Pada Pitham?
The dwi pada pitham is the Sanskrit term for a two-legged table. It’s a yoga asana that is commonly known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose. It is a beginner backbend that opens the whole front body and strengthens the back body.
Where Will the Bridge Pose Take You?
Doing the dwi pada pitham asana will take your yoga practice in many places. These are:
Place of Strength
The dwi pada pitham is an excellent yoga asana for strengthening the lower body. To do this pose, you need to contract the buttocks, front of the thighs, and hamstrings. Doing this pose will also strengthen your low back, which will help in avoiding low back pain.
Place of Openness
Tight front hips? Rounded upper back? If you have, the dwi pada pitham will bring you to a place of openness. This yoga asana will stretch the hip flexors and the chest muscles. It’s a perfect yoga asana if you sit most of the day in front of your computer.
Place of Restoration
The setu bandha sarvangasana is a mainstay in many bodyweight circuit exercises, and power yoga flows. That is because it’s an excellent yoga pose for strengthening. But, it’s also a pose that will restore and rejuvenate your body after a tiring day.
To make this a restorative posture, use a block or a stack of books under the sacrum, and your back will feel brand new.
How to Get There: Step by Step Instructions
- Lie down on your back. Bend your knees. Keep the knees pointing straight up and hip-width apart. Your feet should also be a hip-width distance apart and pointing straight forward. Keep your hands to your sides with the palms down.
- Take an inhale through your nostrils. As you exhale, engage the core and your buttocks. Then push through your feet to lift your hips off the mat.
- Inhale again to bring the buttocks down slowly. Exhale again to lift. Repeat this for a few rounds of breath.
Options and Modifications
Modification for Restorative Dwi Pada Pitham
For a restorative dwi pada pitham, you can opt for a supported Bridge Pose:
- Take a few rolled towels, a stack of books, a bolster, or a yoga block to use as a prop.
- Lie supine on the mat. Bend your knees and keep them and your feet as wide as your hips. Place the hands on your sides.
- Place the prop under your sacrum.
- Stay in this pose for ten rounds of breath.
Focus on Chest-Opening
If the focus of your Bridge Pose is to open the chest, you have the option to clasp the fingers after lifting the buttocks off the mat.
Focus on Strengthening
If your focus for practicing dwi pada pitham, you have a few options:
- You can do a one-legged dwi pada pitham by lifting one foot and extending the leg up.
- You can bring one ankle on top of the opposite thigh. This pose will externally rotate the other hip while making the pose challenging.
- You can place a dumbbell or a barbell on top of the hip flexors.
- You can use a resistance band around the thighs.
Preparatory Poses for Dwi Pada Pitham
Dwi pada pitham is a beginner backbend. But yogis with limited strength in the lower body and are still not warm enough should do some prep poses. Here are the preparatory poses for Bridge Pose:
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Come to your prone position with the belly on the ground. Extend your legs fully.
- Bring the hands under the shoulders or beside the ribcage. Spread your fingers wide.
- Inhale and slowly push the ground with your hands to bring the chest up. Keep the elbows close to your ribs and your shoulders away from your ears. You have the option to extend your elbows or bend them a little.
- Exhale to bring the chest down.
Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva mukha svanasana)
- Lie down on your belly. Extend your legs to the back and press the tops of your feet firmly on the ground. Engage all the muscles in your legs.
- Bring the hands behind the ribcage and keep the elbows close to your ribs. Roll the shoulders down and back.
- Engage the core and inhale to push the floor and bring the chest up slowly. Then lift the hips and knees while keeping the tops of your feet on the mat.
- Stay here for three to five breaths and release back to the ground or go straight to Downward Facing Dog.
Safety and Precautions
- If you feel pain in any parts of the body while practicing dwi pada pitham, release the pose immediately.
- If you have high blood pressure, headache, glaucoma, or vertigo, take caution when doing this pose. This pose is an inversion because the heart will be above the head. So the blood will flow faster to the brain and may cause the blood pressure to increase or pressure in the eyes.
- Avoid hyperextending the low back. Keep the buttocks firm as you lift.
- If you feel pressure on the neck, put some blankets under the shoulders.
The dwi pada pitham is a versatile yoga asana. It will bring you different experiences. Where has the Bridge Pose taken you?