Cobra pose

Bhujangasana

Categories:
Backbend, Shoulder opener

The cobra pose works on opening the upper back and strengthening the lower back.

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Step by step explanation

The cobra pose can be done by

  1. Begin by lying on your belly and extend your legs out behind you with the tops of your feet connected to the ground.
  2. Place your hands under your shoulders, drawing your elbows in close to your body.
  3. Activate your legs, extending your toes back away from you and pressing the tops of your feet into the ground, so much that you allow your knees to lift up from the ground. Lift your chest and head forward and up, while drawing the abdomen firmly in and keeping the lower ribs on the floor. Keep your elbows close to your body, opening the front of the chest and drawing your shoulders down and back. Use the strength of your lower back to lift up instead of your arms. You can even hover the palms of your hands for a moment above the ground to make sure they are not working.
  4. Now, you can either repeat this fluid motion of lifting down and up a couple of times or choose to come a little further into the opening of the chest.
  5. To come further, keep spreading your fingers apart as you push slowly but steadily through the arms and lift the chest and head up a little more, allowing the lower ribs to come off the floor. If you do not have pain in your neck, you can look up towards the ceiling, keeping the neck long and chest open; otherwise, just keep looking forward or slightly down.
  6. Keep listening well to your body, and do not go past what feels naturally good.
  7. Keep the eyes gazing either upwards or towards your nose and stay here for at least five steady breathes.
  8. To come out of the pose lower your body down slowly lower down onto your belly, resting the head on the ground.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • Do not perform this pose if you have a back or wrist injury.
  • If you are in late-pregnancy avoid this pose.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • You could place your elbows on the floor in front of you, arms parallel to come into a more gentle pose.
  • Another way to make the pose easier is by not bringing the lower ribs off the floor.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses