How to do Sphinx Pose, Bhujangasana II
Bhujangasana II – The Sphinx pose backbend lifts the curve of the spine from the lower back upward to the thoracic area. The upper body bends backward less easily than the lower back. Sphinx pose releases the shoulders and opens the heart centre. It is a lovely stretch for the front of the body.
1. Lie face down on the floor. Stretch both arms along the floor in front of you, palms down. Then spread the fingers wide. Have your legs straight with inner thighs, knees, and ankles touching. Allow the front of your body to begin to soften and melt into the floor. Extend from the shoulders through to the elbows. Then lengthen from the elbows to the wrists and out through each and every fingertip.
2. Inhale as you lift your head and chest and slide the arms back toward the body until the elbows are directly beneath the shoulders. Role the shoulders back and pull them down, so they move away from the ears. As you extend the the spine upward, draw your shoulder blades in closer towards the lungs. Lengthen the lower back by pressing the tailbone down toward floor.
3. Press the forearms and palms of the hands evenly into the floor. Lengthen from the elbows to the armpits as you pull your chest forward toward your fingertips so the side ribs move through the upper arms. Spread the backbend evenly through back, so the middle and upper back curve more.
4. With eyes soft, gaze directly ahead into the vastness of infinity as you breathe into the heart space at the front of your chest. Release on an exhalation, turning your head to one side to rest your cheek on the floor. Allow yourself to be fully present with any sensations you may be experiencing. Repeat twice more.
Gaze: Straight ahead
- Crocodile Pose
- Locust Pose
- Embryo Pose
- Child Pose
- Cup the chin in the hands, with elbows on the floor
- Keep more of your abdomen in contact with the floor
- Place your elbows forward of the shoulders
Sphinx Pose Counter Poses
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.