Bhujangasana widely known as Cobra Pose is a backward bending pose. The Sanskrit name Bhujangasana is derived from two words. ‘Bhujanga’ stands for serpent while ‘asana’ means posture. The final position of Bhujangasana resembles a cobra with its hood raised and hence the name. It is an excellent pose for strengthening the spine along with many other benefits such as alleviating constipation, stimulating appetite, and massaging abdominal organs.
But first, let’s begin with the steps to practice Bhujangasana.
Steps to practice Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Lie flat on your stomach keeping your legs straight, feet together, heels slightly touching each other and toes pointing.
- Rest the palm of your hands by the side of your chest, your arms must be close to your body with elbows pointing outward.
- Rest your forehead on the floor and relax your body.
- Inhale and raise your forehead, neck and then shoulders. Using your back muscles raise your chest, now use the strength of your arms to raise your trunk. Look upward breathing normally. This is the final position.
- In the final position, your navel should not raise more than 3cm; with your pubic bones touching the floor. Hold this position for 20-25 seconds.
- To come back to starting position first exhale and then slowly lower your navel, chest, shoulders, neck, and forehead. Relax and take deep breaths.
Practice this asana 3-5 times, practicing before or after a forward bending pose such as Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) will give you maximum benefits. With regular practice, you will be able to straighten your arms, arching the spine to a greater extent.
Precautions for Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Arch your spine as much as you can but don’t apply force. Some people are naturally flexible while some are not and a lot of us have very stiff muscles. Never rush! Give your body the time it needs to gain strength and flexibility.
- Take very little support of your arms, use your back muscles to hold the weight of your upper body in the pose that is how your spine is going to get stronger.
- Your feet might raise a bit from the ground unintentionally, try to keep them down.
- Practice this asana under the guidance of an instructor if you suffer from any of this condition: hyperthyroidism, hernia, peptic ulcer or intestinal tuberculosis.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) Benefits
- Being the 7th posture of Suryanamaskar, it has several benefits such as:
- Strengthens the spine, keeps it strong, healthy and flexible.
- Gives a good stretch to your neck, shoulder, chest, lungs, and abdomen.
- Enhances the functioning of abdominal organs such as kidney and liver.
- Beneficial in menstrual and other disorders of the female reproductive system.
- Useful for people suffering from back pain, slipped disc, sciatica and cervical spondylitis.
Stay healthy stay strong and get the best out of life.
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