- Bhujangasana is good for your heart and lungs
- Bhujangasana is known as cobra pose
- It is also beneficial for your reproductive health
Bhujangasana is a back bending pose which is also a part of the traditional Surya Namaskar sequence coming at step 8, and step 20. In Sanskrit, the word Bhujangasana comes a combination of two words- 'bhujanga' which translates to 'cobra' or and 'asana' meaning 'posture'. Even visually it reflects the posture of a cobra that has its hood raised, and hence it is also known as 'Cobra Pose'.
Start your practise with Sukshma Vyayam or subtle exercises. These consist of gentle rotation of neck, arms, wrists, hips, ankles to slowly warm up the joints. Walk around briskly, and stretch and mobilize your muscles. This will prepare your body for a practice, and keep you safe from practice-related injuries. Before you attempt any back-bending postures, ensure that your body is sufficiently warmed up.
Bhujangasana: Benefits, precautions and steps for formation
Additionally, before you practise Bhujangasana, you can start with these preparatory poses:
- Hasta Uthanasana
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
- Tiryaka Bhujangasana
Formation of the posture
Lie on your stomach
- Slowly raise your trunk and head with the support of the palms alone. The arms should be bent at the elbows
- Arch your neck slightly backwards and look up
- Make sure that your navel is pressed against the floor
- Put pressure on your toes by pressing them onto the floor. After that, extend them out
- Hold the asana for few seconds
Cobra Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
Lie down flat on the floor on your stomach. Stretch your legs back with your toes out on the floor. Spread your palms on the floor under your shoulders and bring the elbows close to the sides of your body.
Press the tops of the feet and thighs firmly into the floor.
As you inhale, press your palms into the floor and begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor. Lift up only as much as till your navel, let your pelvis maintain a connection to the floor. Gently squeeze and firm your buttocks even as you keep pushing your navel center downwards.
Be strong with your shoulder blades as you engage them to open up your chest forward. Make sure that you are distributing the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.
Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.
Contraindications and Cautions
Please avoid this pose in case of:
- Back injury
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Modifications and Props
If you are very inflexible, we recommend that you initially practise this asana with the help of a prop rather than doing this pose on the floor. Brace a metal folding chair against a wall, place your hands on the front edge of the seat, balls of the feet on the floor and then attempt this pose.
Deepen the Pose
In order to challenge yourself, if you are flexible in the armpits, and chest you can turn Bhujangasana into a deeper back bend. Take the hands a little ahead to straighten your elbows, turning the arms outward. Engage the sternum to lift up straight toward the ceiling.
- Strengthens the spine
- Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
- Tones the buttocks
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Helps relieve stress and fatigue
- Opens the heart and lungs
- Soothes sciatica
- Therapeutic for asthma
- The male and female reproductive system improves
- Irregular menstrual cycle problems are rectified too
- With the increasing blood circulation your face gets a radiant look
Bhujangasana is very useful to keep your back healthy. Practise this asana individually or through the Surya Namaskar to make your spinal region strong and very agile. This posture can tone your body and the spinal nerves. Bhujangasana improves your digestion, liver and kidney functions as well.
(Grand Master Akshar is a Yoga Master, Spiritual Guide and Lifestyle Coach)
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