cobra pose (bhujangasana)by Jeffrey Posner
Cobra pose is commonly used in the beginning of class to warm up with and get the body moving with little strain, it is typically the first back-bend you will do in most classes. You will commonly hear teachers referring to a variation of “low cobra” or “baby bhujangasana” which is just a less intense version of the pose.
This pose is one of those you can do anywhere at anytime, provided you have somewhere clean to lay down. A carpet or clean floor will do… Being that this pose is bending the back in a different direction, you may also want to counter the pose by performing a downward dog immediately after.
Begin laying down on your stomach with the arms to the sides and palms facing towards the sky. Turn the head to one side resting the cheek to the floor and begin to breathe deeply in and out of the nose.
Take the hands to the sides of your body by the rib-cage with the palms facing down on the ground. Point the feet bringing all ten toes to the ground and take the forehead to the ground as well. Take another inhale and exhale here…
On your next inhale begin to lift the chest off the ground while at the same time pushing all ten toes into the earth. Use the hands to lightly guide you up as well, but really focus on the lift coming from the chest and lower back.
(If you begin to feel pain at anytime in the lower back then just lower down to the ground)
Let the arms stay bent in the beginning to slowly ease into the pose. This version is the “low cobra” I spoke about before. You may be at your limit here and that’s fine If you are at your current limit; just repeat the process lowering on the exhale and coming back up on the inhale. Moving with your breath and being kind to your body. Also remember to ground down with the hip bones, you want to keep them in contact with the floor.
If you feel you can take it a little further, begin to straighten the arms a little more on each inhale as you come back up. Eventually you may be able to fully straighten the arms, but take it slow in the beginning.
Don’t forget to counter the pose with a nice long downward dog after.
Known to ease various spine injuries.
Corrects slight displacement of spinal discs to correct position.
Tones the spinal region and expands the chest.