Lie on back. Keep legs apart. Hold ankles of both leg from hands. Inhale and raise the trunk as well as hips and thighs off the ground. Try and lift up as much as possible. Hold.
Setu Bandhasana (bridge pose)
1. To begin, lie on your back.
2. Fold your knees and keep your feet hip distance apart on the floor, 10-12 inches from your pelvis, with knees and ankles in a straight line.
3. Keep your arms beside your body, palms facing down.
4. Inhaling, slowly lift your lower back, middle back and upper back off the floor; gently roll in the shoulders; touch the chest to the chin without bringing the chin down, supporting your weight with your shoulders, arms and feet. Feel your bottom firm up in this pose. Both the thighs are parallel to each other and to the floor.
5. If you wish, you could interlace the fingers and push the hands on the floor to lift the torso a little more up, or you could support your back with your palms.
Keep breathing easily.
Hold the posture for a minute or two and exhale as you gently release the pose.
Note: While holding, maintain normal breathing.
Contra-indications: Avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from neck and back injuries.
Benefits: Stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips. Strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings. Improves circulation of blood. Helps alleviate stress and mild depression. Calms the brain and central nervous system. Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs. Improves digestion. Helps relieve symptoms of menopause. Reduces backache and headache. Reduces fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia. Rejuvenates tired legs. Relieves symptoms of asthma and high blood pressure. Therapeutic for hypertension, osteoporosis, and sinusitis.