Sphinx Pose, Bhujangasana II

By Yoga Lily 5 years ago
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How to do Sphinx Pose, Bhujangasana II

How to do Sphinx Pose, Bhujangasana II

Yoga classes in Milton Keynes & Bletchley

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.

How to do Sphinx Pose, Bhujangasana II - step 1

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.

How to do Sphinx Pose, Bhujangasana II - step 3

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

Build-up Poses:

Counter Poses:


  • 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

Effect: Energising


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.

Child Pose

Child Pose, Balasana

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 Yoga Lily

  (114 articles)

Lili has been studying and practising yoga in China & UK for 20 years, and teaching since 2007. She draws inspiration from her training within established, classical yoga systems that focus on alignment, hatha vinyasa in its gentler form, yin, yin/yang, and restorative yoga styles, pranayama and meditation; blending the roots of Chinese healing traditions into a more holistic practice. For her, practice covers not just the physical aspects of yoga but also aligning and unblocking the bodies meridian energy pathways to release Qi energy (prana) which flows through the bodies energy highway, bringing the mind, body and spirit back into balance. “I am continually humbled by my students and teachers, my aim is always to teach from the heart and from the idea that yoga is the art of living, listening and learning, to embody this deeply spiritual tradition” – Lili Chen.