The Sanskrit name of the Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana, comes from the words bhujanga, meaning serpent, and asana, meaning posture. Strength and flexibility are important components of a healthy back. By using the Cobra Pose in conjunction with other back-related yoga poses, a practitioner can develop the ability to maintain correct body posture and improve back strength.

BHUJANGASANA - Cobra Pose, Bikram Yogasanas
The Cobra Pose is a basic pose used to strengthen the spine and buttocks as well as stretch the chest, shoulders, and abdomen. The Sanskrit name of the Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana, comes from the words bhujanga, meaning serpent, and asana, meaning posture. Strength and flexibility are important components of a healthy back. By using the Cobra Pose in conjunction with other back-related yoga poses, a practitioner can develop the ability to maintain correct body posture and improve back strength.

How to Perform the Cobra Pose:
1. Begin in prone position on the floor with legs together and feet pointed. Place hands under shoulders and squeeze your elbows against the body. Firmly press the tops of your feet, legs, and hips to the floor, maintaining this connection throughout the pose.

2. On an inhalation, first use your back muscles to lift your chest off of the floor keeping the neck relaxed and drawing shoulder blades and elbows back; then straightening the arms, continue to lift the chest as the face begins to look up. Go to a comfortable height that you are capable of maintaining without pain. Press your tailbone toward the floor and lift the abdomen muscles toward the spine.

3. Relax the shoulder blades by keeping them down, avoiding adding unneeded tension to the back and shoulders. Find a spot about 45 degrees in front and above that you can focus on as long as it is pain-free.

4. Hold the Cobra Pose for 15 to 30 seconds and maintain even breathing.

5. To release, exhale and drop your head to the floor and lower your body by using your arms. Repeat the Cobra Pose twice more.

Benefits:
  • Improves concentration
  • Massages and tones the back muscles
  • Increases spinal strength and flexibility
  • Helps prevent lower backache
  • May help to cure lumbago, rheumatism, and arthritis of the spine
  • May also relieve menstrual problems
  • May help to cure bad posture and loss of appetite
  • Improves the functioning of the liver and spleen
  • Strengthens the deltoids, trapezius and triceps
Tips for Cobra Pose:
  • Fingers should be together and no farther than the tops of your shoulders
  • Look up to the ceiling, using your spine strength to lift yourself rather than your arm strength
  • It’s very common for the belly button up off the floor in this posture – it’s a body proportion thing
  • Make sure that your arms are “L-shaped” at 90 degrees from the side
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Prof: Koti Madhav Balu Chowdary

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