Bhujangasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

I have started my Yoga Journey with Tirisula. While I had been learning many poses I found some poses which are very engaging. These poses has variation and a small change in the pattern makes a big difference. I would like to write about one such variation of poses which is very common during Sun Salutations.  

Bhujanga means snake in Sanskrit. There is a pose which is associated with the snake like structure which is called as Bhujangasana – which is also called as Cobra Pose. 

I have learned to engage the abdomen in this pose. The abdomen can protect and support the lower back while you reach for more opening into the upper back. Once your lower back is stable you can focus on contracting your upper back.

Getting into bhujangasana :

1) Start by lying on your stomach and place your forehead on the floor.  Keep your feet’s apart from each other , the toes and the fingers are pressing the ground

2) Place your hand near to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Your breathing should be normal.

3) Inhale – raise or lift your head on trunk and lift your chest. Your arms should be bent at your elbows

4) Exhale – Arch your neck backward to replicate a Cobra like position. Your shoulder should be steady and away from ears. Your thighs and feets are touching the ground and you need to press them against the ground. 

5) You can hold this asana for 30-60 seconds while breathing normally. An ideal way will be to hold it for around 02 minutes.

6) To release the pose ,slowly bring your hands back to the sides. Rest your head on the ground by bringing your forehead in contact with the floor. 

7) This pose can be further extended to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward facing Dog). This pose is more intense than the Bhujangasana:

  • In this pose, the only difference is that your thighs & stomach is not touching the ground
  • Before you lift your head from the ground, we need to push your body in front and then make a arch on your spine
  • Your hands in this pose should be straight 

Anatomy

Bhujangasana & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana : benefits following muscles and joints 

Strengthens 

  1. Lattssismus dorsi
  2. Gluteal muscles 
  3. Abdomen / Core
  4. Psoas 
  5. Thighs 
  6. Deltoid 
  7. Biceps & Triceps
  8. Chest 
  9. Neck
  10. Pelvic

Stretches 

  1. Hip joints
  2. Shoulder & arms
  3. Heart 
  4. Lungs

Benefits of cobra pose / bhujangasana  & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

  1. Stretches the muscles in the shoulder , chest and abdominals. 
  2. Decreases stiffness of the lower back. 
  3. Improves menstrual irregularities. 
  4. Firms and tones the Gluteus Maximus. 
  5. Improves circulation of blood and oxygen, especially throughout the spinal and pelvic regions. 
  6. Improves digestion 
  7. Strengthens the spine. 
  8. Soothes the sciatica

Contradictions of Bhujangasana & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

  1. Severe back Problems
  2. Neck problems relating to spondylitis
  3. Not to be attempted by a pregnant woman at all costs
  4. A person suffering from hernia should not practice this at all
  5. Woman who are menstruting should avoid the pose
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