Bhujangasana, the cobra pose

1) ANATOMY:-

Banda and Pranayam- Keep breathing deeply to the abs region using Ujjai Breath and lock the Muladhara.

BHUJANGASANA (Cobra Pose)

boo-jang GAHS-anna

bhujang = serpent

(bhuja = arm or shoulder + anga = limb)

Classification and Level:-

Basic prone backbending pose

Joint Actions

Spine extention; sacrum counternutation; hip extension, internal rotation, adduction; knee extention; ankle plantarflexion; scapula neutral (possibly upward rotation); glenohumeral joint external rotation; elbow extention; forearm pronation.

Breathing- Inhale/exhale – focus on the movement of the breath. Apply Ujjai breath

Organs – Abdominal, arms, spine and legs.

TECHNIQUE (Getting into the pose) :- Lie on the stomach. Legs together as much as you can. Arms at the side of the body, forehead on the ground..

Hands below shoulder shoulder level. Elbows close to the ribcage. Palm facing down, inhale.

Lift the head and chest up, using the back muscles. Extend the elbows by using the arms, to feel the deep stretch on the spine. Gazing point, ceiling.

TECHNIQUE (Getting out of Pose) :- Exhale, slowly lower the body, layer by layer. Finally release the arms to the side of the body.

TYPES OF BHUJANGASANA :-

SPHINX ASANA:-  A good preparation for Bhujangasana, follow with a foward bending Asana. The benefit of this asana are the same but only at a reduced level. The sphinx asana is good for stiff backs, those with acute backache or slipped disc. Relax here for as long as they are comfortable.

SARPASANA – (Snake pose) – A good preparation pose for Bhujangasana. This is very useful for asmathics. It helps to release blocked emotions.

TIRYAKA BHUJANGASANA :- This one is a full cobra pose. This variation is only for those with a very supple back.

2) PHILOSOPHY:- 8 LIMBS OF YOGA

ASANA – Steady pose involves balance, focus, determination, concentration and mindfulness.

Yoga asana integrates the body, the mind, the intelligence, and finally the self, in four stages.:-

1st Stage – ARAMBHAVASTHA – Physical body (Anatomical body)

2nd Stage – GHATAVASTA – mind learns to move in unison with the body.

3rd stage – PARICHAYAVASTHA – Occurs when the intelligence and the body become one (physiological body).

4th Stage – NISPATTYAVASTHA – The state of perfection – Spiritual Awareness flows into the student of yoga through those stages.

DUKHA – Which is misery or sadness or pain, vanishes, and the ‘Art of living’ in Simplicity and Peace is realised.

To practice asanas correctly, you need to learn to bring all those levels together.

ASANA is divided into sections such as Yogasana Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced.

PRANAYAMA –

PRANA means ‘Vital Energy’ or ‘Life Force’. It is the force which exists in all things to give it life.

AYAMA is defined as ‘Extension or Expansion’ thus the word Pranayama means extension or expansion of the dimension of prana.

Four Aspects of Pranayana – Inhalation, Exhalation, Internal Breath, Retention, External Breath Retention

BANDHA –

Locking action – means to ‘Hold’, ‘Tighten’.

Four types of Banhda :-

1) Jalandhara Bandha (Throat Lock)

2) Mooladhara Bandha (Perineum Contraction)

3) Uddiyana Bandha (Abdominal Contraction)

4) Maha Bandha is called the Great Lock as it combines all the Bandhas in one practice – such as Utthan Padasana

MUDRA:-

‘Gesture’ or ‘Attitude’. Attitude of energy flow, also defined as a ‘seal’ ‘short cut’ or ‘curcuit by pass’. Can be a simple hand position too.

Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, perception and attitude, and which deepens awareness and concentration.

YOGA MUDRAS:-

Hasta – Hand Mudras

Mana – Head Mudras

Kaya – Postural Mudras

Bandha – Lock Mudras

Adhara – Perineal Mudras

SHATKARMA –

‘Shat’ means six and ‘Karma’ means action.  Shatkarma is to create harmony between the two major ptanic flows, Ida and Pingala, thereby attaining physical and mental purification and balance.

Yoga Asanas focus on ‘Being’ in the pose rather than just ‘Doing’ the pose.

As leaves move in the wind, your mind moves with the ‘Breath’.

The discipline of the ‘Asana’ comes when you extend your body correctly, evenly and to the maximum.

Yoga ‘Asana’ is a light which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.

An Asana is not a posture that we assume mechanically. It involves a thoughtful process at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance.

Respecting the Principles of Yoga, I am trying to be systematic, but not formulaic, each asanas has its own unique terms.

Yoga practice is fundamentally experiential.

3) PHILOSOPHY – CHAKRAS

The Locations of the chakras and their correspondence in the Physical Body –

* MULADHARA CHAKRA – is at the base of the spine, at the coccyx (perium). It represents earth elements

Senses – smells

‘Psychological Function’ – Grounding, Security, Support, Stability, Courage, Material drive, Sexuality.

‘Physical Disfunction’ – Fatique, elimination

Emotions – Passions

‘Gland’ – Adrenal.

‘Asana’ to do – Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog stretch) and all forward bends.

* SWADHISTHANA CHAKRA:-

In the genital area (spleen). Lower abdomen, represents ‘Water Element, Senses – Taste.

Psychological Function – Feelings, Emotions, Intimacy, Confidence, Movements, Freedom.

Physical Dysfunction – Impotence

Emotions – Desires.

Glands – Gonads.

Asana to do – Ustrasana (camel pose) and some other back bends.

* MANIPURA CHAKRA:-

At the navel (solar plexus), pancreas, represents ‘Fire Element’.

Senses – Eyes.

Psychological Function – Personal will power, knowledge, laughter, humour, curiousity, awareness.

Physical Dysfunction – Diabetes, Indigestion

Emotions – Purpose, sunshine, power drive.

Glands – Pancreas.

Asana to do – Kukkutasana, Peacock.

* ANAHATA CHAKRA ;-

In the Heart Region (Centre of chest), represents ‘Air Element’.

Senses – Touch

Psychological Function – Relationship, Acceptance, Self Control, Guilt, Forgiveness, Growth.

Physical Disfunction – Lethary, Asthma.

Emotions – Balance, Love, Compassion.

Glands – Thymus

Asana to do – Urdhva Dhanuvasana (bow pose) and all the back bends.

* VISHUDDHA CHAKRA:-

At the base of the throat. It represents ‘Ether Space Elements’.

Senses – Hear

Physical Disfunction – THyroid, Hyperactivity, Hormonal Problems, Swelling, Mood Swings, Infections.

Psychological Function – commincation, speech, creative expression, wisdom, planning, caution, spiritual drive.

Emotions – Expansion, Healing

Glands – Thyroid

Asana to do – Sirsanasa (Headstand pose), Setu Bandha (Bridge Formation Pose)

* AJNA CHAKRA:-

Between the eyebrows (forehead, pituitary), the seat of the mind, Interlect. It is in the present moment. It has passed all the elements and levels.

Physchological Functions – Intuition, Psychic, Self Realisation, Release, Understanding, Abilites.

Physical Disfunction – Blindness, Headaches, Sleep Disorders.

Emtions – Imagination

Glands – Pituitary

Mudra Shambari.

* SAHASRARA  CHAKRA –

Above and beyond the other six centres.at the crown of the head.

Psychological Function – Knowingness, Charisma, Meditation, Inspiration, Awareness, Wisdom.

Physical Disfunction – Depression

Emotions – Bliss, spirituality

Glands – Pineal

CHAKRA  AS  A  CONCLUSION :-

How it affected me and resonated for me  is the “Vishuddha Chakra”.

Thyroid is what I have for many years. It is under control with taking everyday a ‘Thyroxin’ Tablet. When my thyroid is overactive, my energy is depleted, stress rushes in and creates an emotion of sadness, fear, confusion.

I will be doing more of the Asana focusing on healing the throat chakra. Asana such as Setu Bandhasana, Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana), Uttana Padasaha (Extended Stretch Foot pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose), Halasan (Plough Pose). To create vibration I will be chanting the “AUM” 108 Times.

—- NAMASTE —

4) and  5) ASANA TECHNIQUE:- Plus LESSON PLAN –

URDHVA  DHANURASANA  (Upward Bow Pose)

(10 mins) – Welcome to the Intermediate Yoga Class. The theme of our class today will be to focus more on the ‘Urdhva Dhanursana’. It will keep your body supple and create a feeling of vitality and lightness. This asana will stimulate the Adrenal Glands, strengthening your will power, and increases the the capacity to bear stress. Isn’t it lovely? Let’s have a funfilled class!

(10 mins) – Pranayam (Breathing) – Let’s do Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril). You will feel the ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ air coming out of the nostril. Hot air from the right and cool air from the left. Let’s experience it. ‘Hot Breath’ is the ‘Sun Breath’, while ‘Cool’ air is the ‘Moon Breath’. Just be aware that when you exhale, try to expel as much foul air as possible from the lungs.

Hand Mudra – Right thumb to the right nostril, and right ring finger to the left nostril. Count mentally, Inhale 5, Hold 10, Exhale 10, for 10 rounds. Do it slowly.

(5 mins) – Let’s do 3 ‘Aum’s along with a mantra.

(25 mins)  – Asana:- Surya Namaskar A and B for 5 rounds.

1. Going into the Pose of Dhanuvasana with Technique Awareness:-

Lay on your back and bend both knees, and pull heels to the Gluteus. Spread feet so they align with hips. Bend elbow, bring it close to the head. Place palm on the floor on either side of the head, fingers pointing towards shoulders.

2. Focus on palms and feet as you are now going into the Launch Pose. Push shoulder blades back. Pull muscles of your back into your body. Exhale then lift torso and buttocks off the floor. Breathe evenly.

3. Lift chest and place crown of head on the floor. Take two breaths. Exhale, and shift the weight from palms to the front feet and push up torso in one single movement. Now adjust your post until the weight is equally distributed on hands and feet.

4. Do not take your head too far back. Spread your fingers and stretch your palms. Keep wrists firm and steady.

5. Keep on pushing body further upwards. Pull spine into the body. Straighten arms and lock the elbows. Hold post for 5 breaths.

Coming out of the Pose:-  Exhale and bend elbows and knees, lower the torso and bring the crown of the head to the floor. Lower back and buttocks to the floor. Lie on your back and take few breaths.

Please don’t do this Asana if your blood pressure is high or too low, extreme tireness, severe headaches and a cardiac condition.

OPTIONS AND VARIATIONS:-

PURVATTANASANA (Plank Upward Intense Stretch) –

Modification – Bend the knees and bring it towards the hands, forming a table position. Focus on lifting the hips. Tuck and squeeze the buttocks.

SETHU BANDHASANA (Bridge Formation Pose) –

Modification – Hands can support the lower back with thumbs out and 4 fingers in. Make sure wrist is comfortable.

BHUJANGASANA (Cobra Pose) :-

For strenthening. All upper front is open and all upper back is squeezed. Lower back no pressure at all. Feel the movements with the normal breaths.

6) FEELINGS  AND  EXPERIENCES:-

1st day of class was balancing with everyone with the class. Towards noon I felt a little more comfortable. As days went by, we all students and the teachers become one big family. Sharing and caring took place everyday in the 20 days of my life. Everyone was always ready to help me. I am very happy that i have made this move in my life, by joining this course. The Biggest Gift Ever I have given to myself!

1st – “Whomsoever I have encountered is the Right One” – This means that no one comes into my life by chance. Everyone who is around me, anyone with whom I have interacted, represents something, whether we met in the process during my teachings, or in the process of my learning new things to improve myself.

2nd – “Whatever Happened is the Only thing That was Meant to Happen” – Nothing, absolutely nothing of that which I have experienced could have happened in any other way. Every single situation in my life which I encountered is absolutely Perfect, even if it defies my understanding and ego at that time.

3rd – “Each Moment When Something Begins is The Right Moment”. – Everything begins at exactly the right moment when its supposed to start, neither late nor early.

4th – “What is Over is Over”. – It is that simple. When an experience in my life ends, it helps my evolution. That is why I felt totally enriched by my recent  experiences. After that its better for me to let go and move on – “Let Go, and Let’s Go!”

What I received from this “Intense Course” is Courage to change things I can and the “Wisdom” to know the difference.

*** NAMASTE  AND  THANK  YOU ***