How to do Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana I
Bhujangasana I – The Cobra Pose backbend demands more arm strength than Sphinx Pose. It opens the chest, stimulates the digestive organs, and increases mobility in the vertebral column.
1. Lie face down on the floor. Place the palms on the floor under the shoulders, fingers facing forward. Over several releasing exhalations, make your body as long and alive as possible, extending from the back of the waistmdown through the lower back, hips,buttocks, thighs, calves and soles of the feet.
2. Tuck your tailbone under so the pubic bone presses to the floor. Lift your straight knees off the floor while keeping the tops of the feet pressing down to the floor. Inhale and lift the chest upward without using any pressure at all on the palms. Hold for a few breaths. This position works on strenghtening the back. It will give you an idea of which muscles you need to work, and how strong they are without any help from the arms.
3. Now work on mobilising the back. Press the palms to the floor and continue to curl the spine up off the floor. Keep the inner legs and feet together as you press the pubic bone into the floor and move the back arching action a little higher up into the middle back. Pull back with the heels of the hands, so it feels like you are pulling your chest forward, through the arms.
4. Keep the shoulders soft and move down the back as you straighten the arms. Tuck the chin in toward the throat so the back of the neck remains long. Stay here for a few more breaths, expanding the chest on the inhalation and lengthening the spine on the exhalation.
5. When you combine this pose with a hissing sound on each inhalation and an awareness of the line of energy from the perineum to the sacrum, it becomes a mudra, Serpent Seal.
Cobra Pose Video
Gaze: Third eye or upward to infinity.
- Deep Forward Fold
- Resting Deep Forward Fold
- Childs Pose
- Practice moving smoothly in and out of the pose before holding it for longer periods
Effect: Energising, strengthening
Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana I 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.