Cobra pose in yoga, also known as bhujangasana pose in Sanskrit, is a common heart-opening backbend position. Opening the chest and stretching the shoulders while your stomach is facing down is simple instruction of the position.
Keeping the shoulders down and the heart opening forward, it’s like the alternative of the Upward Facing Dog but less intense. Like all other yoga poses, this position brings you relaxation and other benefits.
Cobra Pose Yoga Benefits
Cobra yoga pose helps reduce upper body soreness, shoulders tightness, and lower back pain. It’s a good position for stretching your spine all the way down. Sometimes, you even can feel a good stretch on your stomach when you perform the movement.
After a long day sitting in front of the computer, doing bhujangasana can make your spine and posture straight. It helps your body stay up every time and reduces the pressure on your lower back.
This posture can fight fatigue and level up high energy. Practicing it every day together with other poses can keep you healthy and flexible.
Full Cobra Pose Instructions
Follow these steps to make a proper cobra position in yoga. Spread your mat out, and let’s get started!
Step 1. Lie down on the mat by your belly and keep your feet hip-width apart. Put your hands next to your ribs.
Step 2. Straight back your big toes and press all the toes down to stretch the whole body. Rotate the inner thighs upward.
Step 3. Slightly press your hands down and lift up your head and chest. At the same time, roll your shoulders down toward the back.
Step 4. Maintain your long neck position. Lift your sternum up but not your chin.
Step 5. Straighten your arms. You can slightly bend your elbows if it’s easier for you. Make sure you keep your shoulders away from your ears.
Step 6. While doing the cobra yoga position, remember to focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly to avoid shortness of difficulty in breathing.
Step 7. Keep as long as comfortable for you, then return back to the mat.
Tips And Variation
Do the cobra yoga pose slowly to ensure that you don’t put too much stress on your back, especially for the first time.
If you change to this position from Sphinx Pose, you shouldn’t move your ribs forward. Make sure all vertebrae of your spine are bent backward evenly.
When you struggle with bending your upper back, try to think of lengthening your upper spine for better stretching.
Don’t rush into it in case you feel any compression in the lower back. There is no need to keep that high position but focus on creating the space between the shoulder blades.
Variation With Support
Putting a pillow or folded blanket under your hip can reduce the pressure on your lower back and make your cobra yoga pose higher. You can put your feet wider apart to create more space in your pelvis and hips. In this case, you will feel more engaged in your glutes and less discomfort in your lower back.
Teaching The Position
Some cues in teaching cobra pose yoga can protect learners from getting injured or discomfort.
If you feel stiffness in your lower back, you’d better start with Sphinx Pose. Place your forearms on the mat, elbows under your shoulders. Open the chest by pressing your elbows down, keeping your ears away from your shoulders, and reaching up.
Put your hands a little bit forward so that you can bend your spine easier.
Don’t squeeze your bottom to avoid compression on your lower back. Roll your inner thigh up so you can stretch along your spine until the tailbone.
The cobra yoga pose is quite simple and easy to practice. Doing this move every day can alleviate lower back pain and open your chest and stretch your upper back. It can keep your posture straight and relax your whole body.
But don’t stretch yourself too thin by reaching too high. What matters is your breath and comfort.