Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
Bhujangasana yoga or Cobra position yoga is called so because it resembles an alert Cobra.
To keep the body healthy, the body needs to be cured and the most sensible way to cure the disease is yoga. Yoga not only cures diseases but also provides energy to the body and one of the postures in Yoga is Bhujangasana yoga. Today, we will discuss cobra position yoga asana. What are the benefits of practicing Bhunangasana yoga asana and how to do cobra position yoga asana?
In the gracious and picturesque Bhujangasana or Cobra pose, we rejuvenate our spine. The spine is the center of all the neurological progress in the body. All the functions of the body are electrical impulses directed by the mind and communicated through the spine. Even a small motion like blinking your eyes to a high jumper making a record on the athletic field, the spine is the most important organ that makes it possible. It is of utmost importance that we keep our spine flexible and strong like a Cobra. All the mobility that you have throughout your life is not possible without the spine functioning properly. In other words, if your spine stops working, you will change into a tree, absolutely no movement, as we see with paralyzed people or partially paralyzed people, unfortunately.
Along with strengthening the back and arms, Bhujangasana also stretches our digestive organs, activating the swadhisthana and manipura chakras. The thought of lifting our back as an exercise gives a sense of discomfort. Rightly so, as our generation is crippled with back pain. Thanks to the lifestyles we live, it has shrunk us, crouched us, stooped us over. We cannot even conduct simple things like sitting, standing, or sleeping with awareness. We spend a huge amount of time on mobile phones and laptops that too in awkward and un-ergonomic postures. As a result, we have sore necks and sore backs.
Thankfully, we now have a solution in the form of Yoga. Doctors themselves are encouraging their patients to start yoga to help with back pain and stress.
- Ancient Wisdom
- Bhujangasana Meaning
- Bhujangasana Benefits
- Bhujangasana Steps
- Time And Duration
- Seek Expert Advice
- Bhujangasana For Beginners or Salamba Bhujangasana
- Steps of Salamba Bhujangasana
- Benefits of Salamba Bhujangasana
- Contraindications of Salamba Bhujangasana
The foundation of Cobra pose is the front of the legs and tops of the feet which are pressing into the floor, with the hands by the sides of the body and involvement of rectus abdominis and obliques, the serratus anterior plays its role in the placement of the shoulder blades on the back. The pronators and supinators of the forearms are also used. The posterior deltoids lift the sternum and the pectoralis group lifts the chest and placement of the shoulders. The psoas and iliacus are also used to provide core strengthening. Bhujangasana stretches the spine and ribs and creates flexibility in spinal vertebrae. It also elongates the spine, giving enough space for vertebrae to function smoothly.
Bhujangasana meaning comes from the Sanskrit word bhujanga which means ‘Cobra’ and ‘asana’ meaning ‘posture’. Because when you lift your back and stay in that posture, it resembles a Cobra, hence this is called Cobra pose too.
Let us see the Bhujangasana benefits.
- Strengthens the spine
- Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
- Tones the buttocks
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Relieves stress and fatigue
- Opens the heart and lungs
- Soothes sciatica
- Therapeutic for asthma
Now that we have known the benefits of Bhujangasana, let us take a step forward and understand practically what Bhujangasana in a step-by-step fashion. Follow the instructions carefully as we guide you step by step to experience this asana practically.
Listed below are the Bhujangasana steps.
- Step 1. Lie on your belly with your feet apart and your hands beside your ribs
- Step 2. Extend your toes and press down
- Step 3. Spin your inner thighs upwards while firming your outer ankles into your midline. Keep the back of your neck and back comfortably stretched
- Step 4. Straighten the arms slowly. Make sure to emphasize pulling your chest forward and coiling your thoracic spine. Move the bottom border of your shoulder blades in and up to open your chest from behind. Keep at least a slight bend in your elbows
- Step 5. Take your gaze up
- Step 6. Hold for 5–10 breaths, then release
Time And Duration
Bhujangasana should be done when the stomach is empty. The best time to do this is in the morning hours, however, if you are doing it in the evening make sure to leave a gap of 4-5 hours between having a meal and doing Bhujangasana.
When you start, it would not be possible to hold the posture for more than 10-15 seconds, but with practice, it may be extended to 1 or 2 minutes as per your comfort level.
Seek Expert Advice
- If you have severe back problems
- If you have neck problems or spondylitis
- If you have stomach disorders like ulcers
- If you are pregnant
- If you have severe asthma
Bhujangasana For Beginners or Salamba Bhujangasana
For people who have never done this asana and want to start with this asana, there is an easier version of this asana. It is advisable to try this before trying Bhujangasana if you have never done this before. This asana is specially designed for beginners and people with neck and back issues. Spending some time with this asana will give you the confidence to transition to Bhujangasana slowly and steadily. Let us have a complete look at this asana called Salamba Bhujangasana. It is also known as Sphinx posture. It is a modified form of Bhujangasana. The word Sphinx comes from Greek terminology meaning “to squeeze” or “to tighten up.” A stone statue with a lion’s body and a person’s head, that stands in Egypt is also called Sphinx.
Steps of Salamba Bhujangasana
- Step 1. Lie on your stomach, keep the toes parallel to the floor and rest your forehead on the floor
- Step 2. Keep your feet together, with the toes and ankles lightly touching each other
- Step 3. Stretch your hands forward, palms facing the ground and arms touching the ground
- Step 4. Take a deep inhalation, gently lift the head and chest while the navel touches the floor
- Step 5. With the help of arms, pull the torso back away from the ground. Inhale and exhale with reflexes and slowly take care of every part of the spine. Make sure your legs are still together and your head straight forward
- Step 6. While exhaling, bring your abdomen, chest, and then head slowly down towards the ground. This completes one set of this asana
Benefits of The Salamba Bhujangasana
Salamba Bhujangasana helps to strengthen the spine and stimulates the abdominal organs, the chest, and shoulders. This Yoga posture improves blood circulation and relieves tension from the body.
Contraindications of the Salamba Bhujangasana
Do not perform Sphinx posture if you are pregnant or have fractured your ribs or wrist, or recently had an abdominal operation.
This asana is a must for people working long hours on the computer. We should change the way we look at Yoga or asanas in a little different way. A person who has no issues with health, would not have exercise on the priority list. Only when something goes wrong, we start looking for ways and means of exercise. If in contrast to that, we start to exercise or Yoga before anything goes wrong, that would be more sensible. Hence, let us get motivated by the Cobra and make our body and mind more flexible and receptive.