The Anatomy of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

This heart-opening backbend is a pose in the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

Get into Bhujangasana by sliding the upper body forward and up by extending the elbows. Roll the shoulders back. Keep the pelvis, legs and feet on the ground, engage the gluteal muscles slightly and push the chest forward. Tilt the head back and look up. Gaze in between the eyebrows.

This pose stretches your entire upper body and can provide relief if one is experiencing back pain and tightness in your shoulders. It improves posture and counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting and computer work.

Move into this pose slowly in order to avoid straining your back. Avoid pushing your ribs forward. Instead, ensure that the backbend is evenly distributed throughout your spine. The upper back is harder to bend than the lower back. To bend the upper back, think of lengthening your spine to make more space in between the vertebrae.