Bhujangasana - Cobra Pose
Bhujangasana is back bending asana that is practiced as part of the hatha yoga. The name Bhujangasana is derived from the Sanskrit words Bhujanga meaning snake or cobra, and asana meaning posture. It, therefore, translates to the cobra pose. It is performed as a cycle of asanas in the Surya Namaskar.
Bhujangasana Step by Step
Step 1: lie on the floor with your stomach to the floor. Stretch your legs back so that the tops of the feet are lying on the floor.
Step 2: place your palms on the floor so that they are under your shoulders. Your elbows should be to the back and close to your body.
Step 3: Press the tops of the feet, the thighs, and the pubis firmly into the floor. Now bracing yourself on your hands, press down lifting your upper body upwards. Go as high as you can be able to
Step 4: lift through the sternum and ensure that the backbend is distributed throughout the spine. Do not overdo the stretch as it could hurt your back.
Step 5: hold the pose for a set time and then release slowly by bringing your hands back and lowering your body.
There are instances when you might not be able to do the pose while lying down especially due to a stiff back. You can use a chair to do the pose. Brace a chair against the wall and hold on to the front edge. Lift up so that only the front of your feet is touching the floor. Go to the level that your back is comfortable and as you gain flexibility you can now do it on the floor.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Follow Up Poses
Dhanurasana, Shalabhasana, and other backbends
Strengthens the core and front
Strengthens the back
Stretches the abdomen, chest, lungs, and shoulders
Strengthens the spine
Strengthens the vertebral column
Firms the buttocks
Stimulates the abdominal organs
Opens heart and lungs
Oordhva drishti (open sky gaze)
For those that are highly flexible, you can make the pose more challenging by doing an even deeper backbend. While in position move your hands a little forward and straighten your elbows then lift your sternum straight up to the ceiling.
You can also do the upward dog pose which is almost like the cobra pose. In the upward dog pose, you lift your thighs, legs and upper body off the ground so that your weight is distributed on your arms and the front of your feet.
This is performed to help remove the veil of fear that haunts many people. The cobra is feared and with doing this pose you are representing your ability to overcome fear. As you engage kundalini energy the cobra is going to uncoil and therefore life will exist.
Backbend pose, stretching pose
For beginners, it might be common to overdo the backbend which can cause pain. Ensure that you are not overdoing it. To do this, get your hands off the floor for a moment so that you can get the backbend with the only extension of your body. Replace the hands on the floor but do not push.