Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana is always the starting pose of a series of backbends. The aim is to make a gentle bow shape with your spine and to increase the flexibility and strength of mainly your lower back. In order to lift up, the abdomen is pressing into the floor, giving a massage to your internal organs.

Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana

Category 

Backbend

Chakra  

Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra

Meaning

Bhujang refers to a cobra.

Benefits of Cobra Pose

Regular practice in a steady and comfortable manner within a balanced yoga asana program:

  • Stimulates the Manipura Chakra and therefore stimulates and balances the functions of your stomach, gallbladder, liver, spleen, and pancreas
  • Tones all digestive organs and improves digestion, through abdominal pressure
  • Increases bodily heat and therefore digestive fire
  • Stimulates the contraction of your intestines and therefore helps to relieve constipation
  • Regulates blood sugar levels, by regulating the function of the pancreas
  • Tones and strengthens your lower-back muscles, therefore having a positive effect on chronic lower back pain
  • Tones your buttocks and inner thighs
  • Stretches the thoracic region of your spine by expanding the rib cage
  • Relieves hunchback and improves posture
  • Tones your ovaries and uterus and can reduce menstruation problems
  • Helps to reestablish a proper lumbar curve and can therefore be beneficial for sciatica
  • Reduces fatigue and lethargy.

Instructions for Cobra Pose

How to come into the pose

  1. Lie down on your abdomen, with your legs and feet together, forehead on the floor.
  2. Position your palms on the floor, next to your chest.
  3. Elbows are tucked in toward your body and pointing upward.
  4. Breathe in, pushing your navel into the floor, and raise your head and chest off the floor.
  5. Take easy, relaxed breaths as you hold the pose.

Coming out of the pose

  1. Exhale and gently lower your upper body and head to the floor. Relax in Crocodile Pose.

Alignment Cues for Cobra Pose

  • Keep your lower stomach, pelvis, and legs on the floor.
  • Squeeze your legs together, heels together.
  • Shoulders are down and away from your ears.
  • Keep your hands slightly off the floor.

Duration of Hold

  • Beginners: 30 seconds–1 minute
  • Intermediate: 1–2 minutes
  • Advanced: 2–3 minutes


Modifications

  • If you have chronic lower-back issues or even a herniated disc, a modified version of this pose might work well for you: Keep your hands on the floor and use them as support.
  • You can even bring your elbows onto the floor just below your shoulders.
  • It is important that you stabilize your back by engaging your core.
  • Suck your belly button toward your spine as you hold the pose. Keep your shoulder blades drawn away from your ears toward your waist and look straight ahead.

Cautions and Contra-indications

  • Abdominal issues (e.g. diarrhoea, ulcer, menstrual pains, recent surgery)
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Lower-back and spinal issues (e.g. chronic pain, herniated disc, sciatica, SI-joint instability)

Relevant Poses

Rest in Crocodile Pose and then move on to Locust Pose – Shalabhasana.

For more yoga asanas and exercises, make sure to visit Arhanta Yoga Asana Guide!