Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)- Definition steps benefits with precautions

Cobra Pose, known as Bhujangasana in Sanskrit, is a foundational yoga posture that offers a myriad of physical and mental benefits. The pose is named after the cobra snake, as it resembles the raised hood of a cobra when performed. Bhujangasana is an integral part of the traditional Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) sequence and is often included in many yoga flows and sequences for its ability to strengthen the back, tone the abdomen, and open the heart. In this article, we will explore the definition, steps to do, benefits, and precautions of practicing Cobra Pose.

Sanskrit Slok:
“भुजङ्गासने भूमौ तिष्ठेत् शरीरे तदा।
नभिस्थले धृतेनास्य कुर्यान्नादीतनोत्सृजन्॥”

The Sanskrit term “Bhujangasana” is derived from two words: “Bhujanga,” which means cobra, and “asana,” which means pose. Thus, Bhujangasana translates to Cobra Pose in English. It is a backbend posture that involves lying on the stomach and lifting the chest and head while keeping the pelvis and lower body grounded. The pose is often practiced to strengthen the spine, stretch the chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen, and stimulate abdominal organs.

Steps to do:
1. Lie flat on your stomach, with your legs stretched out and the tops of your feet pressing into the mat.
2. Place your hands under your shoulders, palms facing down, and elbows hugging into the sides of your body.
3. Inhale, and as you exhale, press into your palms to lift your chest and head off the mat, keeping your lower body grounded.
4. Roll your shoulder blades back and down, opening your chest and engaging your back muscles.
5. Keep your gaze forward or slightly upwards, while maintaining a gentle lift through the crown of your head.
6. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, breathing deeply.
7. To release, exhale as you slowly lower your chest and head back to the mat.

– Strengthens the muscles of the back and spine
– Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
– Stimulates abdominal organs, aiding in digestion
– Helps improve posture and relieve lower back pain
– Opens the heart and promotes a sense of vulnerability and courage
– Alleviates stress, anxiety, and fatigue

– Avoid practicing Bhujangasana if you have a recent or chronic back injury.
– If you have carpel tunnel syndrome, wrist injuries, or are pregnant, use caution and modify the pose by resting on your forearms instead of your palms.
– Do not force the lift of your chest and head; keep the movement gentle and within a comfortable range of motion.
– Always engage your abdominal muscles to protect your lower back.
– If you experience any pain or discomfort, come out of the pose immediately.

Incorporating Cobra Pose into your regular yoga practice can offer numerous benefits for your physical and mental well-being. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your back, open your heart, or simply relieve stress, practicing Bhujangasana can be a valuable addition to your routine. Remember to approach the pose with mindfulness, paying attention to your body’s limitations and honoring them throughout your practice.