A simple back bend that sets you forward

All the strains in our daily life will manifest into aches in certain parts of our physical body. The Cobra pose, also known as Bhujangasana in Sanskrit is one of the well-known basic yoga postures which helps to alleviates the accumulated physical and mental pressures.

By bending your back in Cobra, it helps blood to flow back to the heart, stretches the chest, shoulders and abdomen, firms the buttocks, strengthens the abdominal and back muscles.

This posture is both energizing and therapeutic to relieve stress and fatigue.

To reap the full benefits of Cobra, it is important to note that you should create an even arch throughout your spine by feeling a same degree of sensation in lower, middle and upper back.

Doing the Cobra Pose – Instructions

  • Lie with the belly, feet together, forehead on the floor.
  • Spread the hands on the floor under your shoulders, elbows close to your body.
  • INHALE – Slide the head and chest forward and up, using the midback muscles. Press the lower body (tops of feet, thighs) firmly onto the floor. Tip: To check if your midback muscles is engaged, lift your hands off the floor.
  • Extend the elbows and push the lower abdomen up, using the arms to help to stretch the spine further. Roll the shoulder blades back to open up the ribs.
  • HOLD the pose from 15 to 30 seconds, breathe easily and gaze in between the eyes.
  • EXHALE – Slowly lower down the body from lower abdomen, ribs, chest, chin, nose then forehead. Bring the arms by the side of the body.

Common postural errors during this asana include overarching the neck and lower back. One recommendation is to keep the gaze forward and think of lengthening the spine instead of compressing the back.

This is a good pose to practise every morning to warm up your spine, or any time of the day for a quick stretch. From my personal experience, this posture is particularly helpful for business travellers and office workers who work long hours in seated pose.

Remember to breathe and be mindful of the sensations within your body and enjoy the posture!

– Sinyi on asana pose (200hr YTTC/HathaAshtanga/Weekday/02Jun)