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cobra – bhujangasana

BENEFITS:  Strengthens the back muscles. May be beneficial for sciatica. Can be good for rounded shoulders as it encourages opening in front of the collarbones. Increases flexibility in the whole of the spine.  Is said to sometimes help stomach aches…

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Obviously pregnancy puts some restraints on practicing this posture!  Mother’s to be who normally practice this posture will find up until 12 weeks comfortable to do – but listen to your body – and don’t do it if it feels like an effort. We are all unique and different, so only practice if it feels good to do…

PRACTICE: Lie prone with the hands either side of the chest to begin with. The more comfortable the posture becomes – the further down the body your hands can go when preparing for the pose. Keep your eyes looking towards the ground. (You can shut them if you want to…)

Take a journey around your body and see if there is anything still holding. If there is then imagine you are breathing into it. Visualise the area softening and releasing.

Relax and breathe freely and easily…

Notice your hands and the contact they have with the ground…

Feel your spine moving as you breathe…

When you are ready, next time you breathe out engage your thigh muscles. Allow the legs to become heavier and lengthen the tailbone away.

As the upper body becomes lighter, ground the hands and allow  your arms to push you up.

Keep the elbows a little bent – so the arms don’t lock and become stiff . Keeping the arms bent will have the added benefit of helping them to strengthen.

Be aware of keeping the front of the chest and shoulders, wide and free.

Keep length at the back of your neck by allowing the chin be lower (rather than higher).

Enjoy your long spine, strong, (but not locked) arms and broad open shoulders. Breathe and stay for as long as it feels good to do…

Come down gently and then rest in child for a few breaths…

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Comments on: "pose of the week… cobra – bhujangasana…" (13)

  1. Thanks for sharing this! Very helpful. I have chronic back issues, so I’m always looking to try new things.

  2. Hi Roz, you are very welcome! Just to say that if you have back ‘issues’ sometimes Cobra might be too strong – just see how your back feels as you do the posture. Go up slowly and keep your arms bent and not locked – to keep the posture softer (although it will demand more strength from your arms!) Also the legs can be a little apart instead of the usual together (as in photo) this allows less strain in the lower back. Happy practising : )

  3. Great blog Claudia!

  4. In Cobra, I like to subtly claw my fingers into the mat and draw them back towards my feet. This action lengthens the spine.

    • Have tried ‘clawing’ just now. Yes, there is definitely a sensation in the abdominal muscles and a gentle lengthening of the spine. Thank you David for this suggestion – never even crossed my mind to do this – but very effective and makes sense somehow being an extension of the Sphinx posture – if you know what I mean : )

  5. A belated thank you for posting on my blog. Yes I love yoga class! A friend of mine wanted to attend a class years ago, and I went with her, I was the one who ended up staying!

  6. lovely blog, and thanks for mentioning the gaze/neck in cobra. it feels much better to lengthen the back of the neck rather than smush it!

  7. Fab blog, Claudia. Looking forward to reading more 🙂

    X

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