Bhujangasana (boo-jang-GAHS-anna), commonly known as Cobra Pose is a starting backbend in yoga that prepares you for a deeper backbend. In Sanskrit, Bhujangasana means serpent pose because it resembles the body of a snake when practiced.
This particular pose is great for beginners and is an imperative element of the sun salutation sequence poses. Bhujangasana can also be used as an alternative pose for upward-facing dog as well.
Although this powerful backbend is ideal for beginners, you should still be careful when practicing and coming out of this pose. Any abrupt movements while performing this pose can potentially cause pain, discomfort, or even back injuries. Be considerate when releasing this pose, as well; always remember to release slowly as opposed to abruptly.
Bhujangasana is a moderately easy pose. It doesn’t require much physical strength but it relies on the flexibility of your back and spine. You don’t need a lot of room to practice the post either. The cobra pose can be done in the comfort of your own home with just a simple yoga mat.
How to Do Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Lie on your stomach, face down. Relax your spine and make sure your legs are straight and pressed together. With your hands placed on the floor below your shoulders, bend your elbows.
As you begin to inhale, straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor. Try to raise your neck and look towards the sky. Stay in this position while breathing deeply for 15 to 30 seconds.
To release this pose, bend your elbows and slowly bring your torso, neck, and face towards the floor, relaxing your spine.
Variations of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
With continued practice, Bhujangasana can help you gradually strengthen your spine while making you more flexible.
Bhujangasana is an essential pose for preparing for more advanced backbends. Although it’s ideal for beginners, it’s always important to feel comfortable before attempting this move.
If you are struggling with any back pain, wrist pain, or happen to be pregnant, follow these simple variations to get the most out of your cobra pose:
Variations For Back Pain
If you are struggling with lower back pain, it’s not advisable to practice Bhujangasana on the floor. Try placing a chair against a wall, and do the pose with your hands on the front of your seat with the balls of your feet placed firmly on the floor.
Variations For Expecting Mothers
For the expecting yoga moms out there, it is advised to practice the cobra pose standing up. Stand to face a wall and place your hands on it, with your elbows close to your sides. Press against the wall and draw your shoulder blades firmly into your upper back and broaden across your collarbones.
Variations For Wrist Pain
If you’re struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome or any wrist-related pain, try placing a pillow or blanket under your palms to release tension off your wrist.
Benefits of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana is best known to help improve the flexibility of your spine. Aside from that, this particular pose has a variety of both physical and health benefits that will help improve your overall quality of life.
The physical benefits of Bhujangasana include:
- Promotes deeper breathing by expanding your chest.
- Firms and tightens butt, hips, neck, chest, and shoulders.
- Improves blood circulation in your legs and spinal column.
- Strengthens and tones your abdominal and lower back muscles.
The health benefits of Bhujangasana include:
- Helps reduce stress and fatigue.
- Promotes digestion, satiety, and reduces constipation by placing pressure on the abdomen.
- Helps purify the blood by toning the kidneys.
- Relieves cramps and uterus-related disorders by toning the uterus.
Do’s and Don’ts of Bhujangasana (Corpse Pose)
Don’t practice cobra if you are having neck problems related to spondylitis.
Don’t force yourself into cobra, as doing so can lead to back pain or injury.
Don’t practice cobra if you have stomach ulcers or any stomach related disorders since cobra requires you to stretch your abdominal muscles; it may cause pain.
Don’t spread your legs doing this pose, as doing so can potentially cause injury to your lower back.
Do place a pillow or blanket underneath your palms for extra comfort.
Do lift your sternum straight towards the sky for a deeper cobra pose.
Follow-Up Poses for Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
The following are a few poses you should try that can help relax your body after finishing your Bhujangasana pose. These poses include:
- Wide Child’s Pose (Prasarita Balasana)
- Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Bhujangasana Pose Recap
Bhujangasana is an ideal pose for beginners that will help reduce stress and fatigue throughout the day. It can also prevent you from slouching if you sit in front of a computer or if you drive all day.
Practicing the corpse pose will help you become more flexible while helping you remain energized. Whether you’re advanced or new to yoga, everyone can reap the benefits of Bhujangasana.
Before you practice this pose, make sure you’re comfortable. Forcing a pose can result in injury.
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Cobra Pose Yoga (Bhujangasana) | Yoga Sequences, Benefits, Variations, and Sanskrit Pronunciation | Tummee.com. Tummeecom. 2018. Available at: https://www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/bhujangasana. Accessed March 2, 2018.
Cobra Pose. Yoga Journal. 2018. Available at: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/cobra-pose. Accessed March 2, 2018.
How to Do Cobra Pose in Yoga. YogaOutletcom. 2018. Available at: https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-cobra-pose-in-yoga. Accessed March 2, 2018.