Bhujangasana is all about embodying the cobra within you. It is about facing your fears, finding the courage to open up to them and shed the old skin to allow yourself to emerge into something new. Bhujanga means serpent or snake and the pose is referred to as Cobra Pose in English. It is a gentle back bend promoting spinal flexibility and a heart opener broadening the chest and shoulders.
This is a strong pose that will challenge you to engage the back muscles and re-connect with your breath to embrace it as you hold. Bhujangasana will strengthen your lower back and help develop the muscles that we almost never use when working in an office setting.
Benefits of Cobra Pose
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Realigns the spine
- Stretches the chest
- Tones the buttocks
Perform Cobra Pose
- Start off by lying flat on your belly and chest with arms alongside the body and forehead on the floor. Your legs are together with the big toes touching.
- Bring the hands alongside the chest and place them underneath the shoulders with the middle fingers pointing forward.
- Press the tops of the feet into the ground, engage the leg muscles and as you inhale begin to engage the back muscles and lift your chest off the floor.
- Keep the neck neutral and long with your gaze straight ahead. Shoulders are drawing down away from the ears.
- You may rest your hands on the ground but you should be able to lift the palms off the ground to hover ensuring the back muscles are doing the work, this variation is referred to as baby cobra.
- Hold for a few breaths and when you are ready slowly lower the chest back down. Rest the forehead on the ground with arms next to the body (or feel free to rest your forhead on your hands instead) and the legs and feet relaxed.
- When you are ready, set up again and make your way into baby cobra. If you are ready for a bit more and the spine allows for it, press your hands into the ground, keep the elbows close to the body and begin to straighten the arms. Once you’ve extended your arms to a comfortable position with elbows bent, so ensuring you never lock the elbows, hold this full expression of Bhujangasana.
- When you are ready exhale and release back down to rest.
Feel free to hold this pose for as long as your body allows or focus on holding for five breaths, taking a break and repeating three times. Personally, I like to alternate between baby cobra and cobra pose that way you are both strengthening the muscles and increasing flexibility. As you listen to your body you will naturally progress and increase the duration of the asana.
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