Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose, is one of the main backward bending asanas used in yoga. In Bhujangasana, the head and trunk resembles a cobra with raised hood, hence the name (Bhujanga means Cobra in sanskrit). Bhujangasana is easy to perform and is integrated into other yoga practices like the surya namaskara, where it appears as the 8th pose in the series of 12 poses.
Usually our back muscles don’t get much exercise, in our day to day activities. The weakening of these muscles can lead to back aches, stooping, slipped disks and other posture defects. Bhujangasana is an easy way to strengthen the back muscles. You should avoid this asana if you are pregnant or if you have had any abdominal surgery in the recent past.
How to do Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose) ?
- Lie down on your stomach with hands on the side, toes touching together.
- Bring your hands to the front at the shoulder level, with palms resting on the floor.
- Slowly raise your trunk and head with the support of the palms alone. The arms should be bent at the elbows.
- Arch your neck slightly backwards, so that the pose looks like a cobra with raised hood.
- Breathe normally and feel the stomach press against the floor.
- Hold the asanas for few seconds in the beginning stages. One may go up to 2 minutes as one progresses.
- You can release the pose by bringing the hands back to the sides and resting your head on the forehead. Then, place the hands under your head like a pillow. Bend and rest your head on one side and breathe normally.
Benefits of Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
- Bhujangasana strengthens the back muscles especially the lower back.
- It increases flexibility of the spine and the muscles around it.
- It tones the organs in the lower abdomen, the digestive organs, the urinary and reproductive organs.
- It tones the buttock muscles.
- Bhujangasana can correct some of the menstrual irregularities.
Contraindications for Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
- Bhujangasana should be avoided if you have any spine or hip injury.
- Those who have severe pain in the lower back, can do the simpler version of Bhujangasana, namely the Sphinx Pose.