The Yoga Tutor

Viloma Asana - The Inverted Pose

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 469 ]

Viloma asana, the "inverted posture" is also sometimes called sethu asana, the "bridge posture." This is a great exercise for developing muscle tone and spinal health, and is a necessary preparation for the chakra asana, which will be taught in an upcoming lesson.


  • From shava asana, draw the heels up near to the buttocks, with the feet about 6 inches apart.
  • Place your hands on the floor, palms down, with the fingers underneath the shoulders and thus, the elbows pointing skyward.
  • On a deep in-breath, lift the body up off the floor and place the top of your head upon the floor, so that the body resembles a bridge structure.
Note: the body weight should be equally distributed between the hands, the feet, and the head.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds, while breathing in a full and uniform manner.
  • To come out of the pose, push with the arms and hands to release the weight upon the head and neck, then slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
  • Relax for a few breaths in shava asana, then repeat the practice 2 more times.

Purna Viloma Asana

After some proficiency has been gained in the preceding practice, you may attempt a further variation of this posture by bringing the hands into namaskara mudra at the centre of the chest.


Both of these practices do demand some degree of muscular strength. Do not rush into their practice, or overdue it in the beginning. Go slowly and allow the necessary muscular strength to build up through regular practice.



The contents of this web page are intended for informational purposes only. One should not engage in any yoga practices based solely upon the directions given on this web page or any other page of this web site. Anyone atempting to perform any of the yoga exercises introduced on this website assumes full responsibility and does so at their own risk.

NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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