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Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge): Benefits and Steps

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana, commonly known as One Leg Bridge Pose, is a rejuvenating yoga posture that offers a myriad of physical and mental benefits. This variation of the traditional Bridge Pose involves lifting one leg toward the sky, enhancing strength, flexibility, and balance.

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

Derived from Sanskrit, "Eka" translates to "one," "Pada" means "foot" or "leg," "Setu" refers to "bridge," and "Bandha" signifies "lock" or "bond." Together, Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana represents the formation of a bridge with one leg, symbolizing the union of body, mind, and spirit.

Pronounced as "EH-kah PAH-duh say-TOO BAHN-dah-SAH-nuh," this Sanskrit name embodies the fluidity and grace of the pose, inviting practitioners to explore the depths of their practice with mindfulness and intention.

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana primarily targets the muscles of the lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Additionally, it engages the core muscles, stabilizing the pelvis and spine. This pose also opens the chest and shoulders, improving posture and promoting deeper breathing.

How to Perform Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

  1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, flat on the mat.

  2. Press into your feet and arms as you lift your hips toward the sky, coming into Bridge Pose.

  3. Once in Bridge Pose, extend one leg straight up towards the ceiling, flexing the foot.

  4. Keep the hips lifted and engage the core to maintain stability.

  5. Hold the pose for several breaths, lengthening through the extended leg and grounding through the supporting foot.

  6. To release, gently lower the lifted leg back to the mat and slowly roll down through the spine, returning to the starting position.

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

When to Perform Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana can be practiced at any time of day, but it is particularly beneficial as part of a dynamic warm-up sequence or as a standalone posture to strengthen and stretch the lower body. It can also be incorporated into a therapeutic practice to release tension and promote relaxation.

Preparatory Poses

Before attempting Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana, it's helpful to warm up the body with the following preparatory poses:

  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

  • Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

  • Supine Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana)

Follow-up Poses

After practicing Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana, consider transitioning into the following poses to further enhance your practice:

  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

  • Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

  • Savasana (Corpse Pose)


Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana is associated with the Heart Chakra or Anahata. This energy center governs love, compassion, and connection, making it an ideal pose for opening the heart and cultivating a sense of emotional balance and well-being.

Heart Chakra or Anahata

Mantra for this Pose

As you explore Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana, you may choose to recite the following mantra to deepen your connection with the heart center:

"I am open to giving and receiving love unconditionally."

Alignment Cues

  • Ensure that the supporting foot remains grounded and the knee is aligned with the hip.

  • Engage the core muscles to stabilize the pelvis and spine.

  • Keep the extended leg active and energized, with the foot flexed towards the sky.

  • Relax the shoulders away from the ears and open the chest towards the sky.

  • Maintain a steady breath and focus on lengthening the spine.

Duration of Hold

Hold Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, gradually increasing the duration as your strength and flexibility improve.


Direct your gaze towards the sky or the extended foot, maintaining a soft and focused gaze to enhance balance and concentration.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

As you practice Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana, tune into the sensations arising within your body and mind. Notice the stretch in the muscles of the legs and the opening of the chest and shoulders. Cultivate a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to explore your practice and connect with your inner strength and resilience.

Beginners’ Tips

  • Use a yoga block or bolster under the sacrum for added support and stability.

  • Start with a gentle lift of the hips and gradually work towards a higher bridge position as you build strength and confidence.

  • Focus on maintaining a steady breath and listening to your body's cues throughout the pose.

Who Should Not Do It

Avoid practicing Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana if you have any recent injuries or conditions affecting your lower back, hips, or knees. Pregnant individuals should also exercise caution and consult with their healthcare provider before attempting this pose.

Who Should Do It

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana is suitable for practitioners of all levels, from beginners to experienced yogis. It offers a gentle yet effective way to strengthen the lower body, open the heart, and cultivate a sense of balance and stability.

Benefits of Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

The benefits of Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana extend beyond the physical body, encompassing the emotional and spiritual realms as well. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Stretches the hip flexors: The bridge pose opens up the front of the hip, stretching the hip flexors. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who spend long hours sitting, as it helps counteract the tightness that can develop in the hip flexor muscles.

  2. Increases flexibility: Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana also stretches the muscles of the back, chest, and shoulders, promoting flexibility in these areas.

  3. Stimulates the thyroid gland: The gentle compression of the neck in this pose stimulates the thyroid gland, which can help regulate metabolism and energy levels.

  4. Calms the mind: Like many yoga poses, One Leg Bridge Pose encourages deep breathing and mindfulness, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.

  5. Relieves mild back pain: Bridge pose can help alleviate tension in the back muscles and may provide relief from mild back pain when practiced regularly and with proper alignment.

  6. Improves posture: Strengthening the muscles of the back and core can help improve posture, reducing the risk of developing poor postural habits that can lead to discomfort and pain.

Variations of Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

Explore these variations of Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana to customize your practice and deepen your experience:

  • Supported One Leg Bridge: Place a yoga block or bolster under the sacrum for added support and stability.

  • One Leg Bridge with Bind: Reach the opposite hand towards the lifted foot and clasp the ankle for a deeper stretch and chest opening.

  • Dynamic One Leg Bridge: Lift and lower the extended leg in a pulsing motion to engage and strengthen the muscles of the lower body.

Modifications for Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana (One Leg Bridge)

Modify Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana to suit your individual needs and abilities with these helpful adjustments:

  • Keep a slight bend in the supporting knee if straightening it fully causes discomfort or strain.

  • Place a folded blanket or cushion under the head for added support and comfort.

  • Use yoga props such as blocks or straps to assist in reaching and holding onto the lifted foot.

Common Mistakes

Avoid these common mistakes to maximize the effectiveness and safety of your Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana practice:

  • Allowing the hips to sag or collapse towards the ground.

  • Overarching the lower back can strain the lumbar spine.

  • Holding the breath or tensing the jaw and shoulders.

  • Neglecting to engage the core muscles for stability and support.

Safety and Precautions

Practice Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana mindfully and with awareness, paying attention to any sensations of discomfort or strain. If you experience any pain or discomfort, gently release the pose and consult with a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional for guidance.

Additional Preparation Tips

Enhance your Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana practice with these additional tips for a truly transformative experience:

Direction to Face While Doing This Pose and Why: Face towards the sky or towards an open space to encourage a sense of expansiveness and openness within your practice. Keeping your gaze upward can also help cultivate a feeling of upliftment and lightness.

What to Wear for This Pose: Wear comfortable, form-fitting clothing that allows for unrestricted movement and flexibility. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo to keep you cool and comfortable throughout your practice.

Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance: Practice Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana in a quiet, peaceful environment free from distractions. Create a calming atmosphere by diffusing relaxing essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus to promote a sense of tranquility and ease.

Music for This Pose: Enhance the transformative ambiance of Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana with soothing music or nature sounds such as gentle instrumental melodies, chanting mantras, or soft ocean waves. Choose music that resonates with your personal preferences and helps you connect deeply with your practice.

Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana, the One Leg Bridge Pose, invites you to elevate your practice and explore the depths of your body, mind, and spirit. As you lift and open your heart towards the sky, embrace the opportunity to strengthen, stretch, and connect with yourself on a deeper level. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced yogi, Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana offers a powerful and transformative journey towards greater strength, flexibility, and inner harmony. Embrace the challenge, cultivate resilience, and let your practice soar to new heights with this inspiring and invigorating pose.

Happy yoga-ing, everyone! Namaste!

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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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