Cobra pose, also known as Bhunangasana (boo-jang-GAHS-anna), comes from the word bhujanga, which means serpent.
Instructions for Cobra Pose
- Lie on your belly with your legs extended behind you and the tops of your feet on the floor.
- Bring the palms of your hands under your shoulders, spreading your hands wide on the floor.
- Gently draw your shoulders back, lengthening through your spine as you open through your heart, drawing your shoulder blades together and hugging your elbows in toward your body.
- Gently tuck your tailbone as you press your pubis firmly into the floor.
- On an inhalation, draw in at your navel as you press firmly into your arms, lifting your upper body off the floor. Move to a height that is comfortable and which keeps your pubis and legs connected to the floor.
- Continue to tuck your tailbone toward the floor and lifting in at the navel to support the low back. Keep the legs engaged and the buttocks firm. Continue the draw the shoulders down and shoulders blades back and down along the back. Lift through the crown of your head, keeping your heart open. Try to maintain even distribution of the backbend through the entire spine.
- You may hold cobra pose from 15 to 30 seconds. Continue to breath as you hold the position. Lower yourself slowly to the floor, maintaining control as you exhale.
Cobra Pose Variations
If coming into full cobra pose is difficult, consider performing one of these modifications.
- Come up only part way instead of coming up all the way
- OR place your elbows on the ground and press up into a comfortable position
Benefits of Cobra Pose
- Improves tone and strength for the low back, buttocks, shoulders, and arms
- Stretches the abdomen, chest, and front of neck
- Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini.
Contraindications and Cautions for Cobra Pose
- Back injury
- Injured or weak wrists including carpel tunnel