Bhujangasana, also known as the cobra pose, is a highly effective and relatively simple yogasana. It holds the 8th position in the sequence of Surya Namaskara, or sun salutation. The posture, when executed correctly, imitates a cobra with its fangs exposed, hence its popular name. The Cobra Pose offers a wide range of physical and physiological benefits, making it essential for maintaining fitness and overall well-being.
By practicing this single asana, it becomes possible to activate four out of the seven major chakras in the body. In this comprehensive article, we will provide detailed information on bhujangasana, including precise instructions on how to perform it, common mistakes to avoid, the advantages it offers, variations, precautions to consider, contraindications, and much more. For a more in-depth understanding and visual guidance, continue reading here.
How to Perform Bhujangasana?
- Begin by lying on your belly, with your palms placed under the shoulders.
- Your elbows must be tucked close to your torso.
- The tops of your feet must be pressing down on the mat, thereby lengthening your legs.
- Press your pelvic bone downwards and also activate your thigh muscles.
- While doing this, you must feel your tailbone tuck under when your abdomen contracts and supports the spine.
- Now inhale and press your hands to the ground, lengthening your arms so that your chest is lifted forward and up.
- Next in how to do cobra pose is to keep your tailbone tucked under as the pelvic bone moves towards your navel.
- This pelvic tilt would aid you in maintaining the openness in the lower spine as you arch.
- Lift yourself only to the point where the pelvic bone remains on the ground, and you do not feel the pressure in your lower back.
- Press your shoulder blades into your back without being hard on the back muscles.
- Place your elbows close to your ribcage, with the elbows slightly bent.
- Make your back muscles and your arms work in this position.
- Raise your eyes and chin, maintaining a comfortable space through the back of the neck.
- Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, taking deep breaths.
- During the last breath, slowly exhale, bringing your head and chest down.
- Feel your spine lengthen by pulling your torso forward with your hands.
- Inhale and raise yourself up to your hands and knees, and go back to child’s pose by exhaling.
Bhujangasana Benefits & Precautions:
Regular practice of bhujangasana yoga offers numerous benefits to our body. This particular yoga pose focuses on increasing spinal flexibility and strengthening the spine. Additionally, it involves stretching various body parts such as the chest, shoulders, lungs, and abdomen. The cobra pose, a key component of bhujangasana, strengthens both the back muscles and the arms. Furthermore, this asana provides a gentle stretch and massage to the internal organs. It also aids in opening the lungs and heart, while simultaneously stimulating the abdominal organs and toning the buttocks.
Apart from its physical benefits, bhujangasana also offers therapeutic advantages. It has been known to be beneficial for individuals with asthma, providing relief and improving respiratory function. Moreover, this asana can help soothe sciatica and alleviate stress and fatigue. People with spondylitis also find bhujangasana to be an excellent pose for managing their condition effectively.
Precautions for Bhujangasana Yoga (Cobra Pose):
- Bhujangasana, also known as the Cobra Pose, offers numerous benefits but should be practiced with caution.
- Individuals with back injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome should avoid performing bhujangasana.
- It is recommended to avoid this pose if you experience frequent headaches.
- Pregnant women should not engage in bhujangasana due to its unsuitability for their condition.
- People who have undergone internal organ surgery, suffer from arthritis in the spine or wrists, or have a hernia problem should refrain from practicing bhujangasana.
Preparatory and Follow Up Poses:
Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana and Urdhva Mukhasvanasana serve as preparatory poses for Bhujangasana. Following Bhujangasana, most backbend asanas can be performed as follow-up poses.
Now, let’s delve into the details of Bhujangasana, also known as the cobra pose. Firstly, it’s important to understand its ancient origins and meaning. The Gheranda Samhita, a scripture, references this pose as keeping the navel to big toe touched to the base and rising like the hood of a serpent. Bhujangasana is believed to stimulate the body’s fire, which helps eliminate diseases and activates the Kundalini energy. There are numerous other benefits associated with Bhujangasana.
Maintaining a healthy digestive system is crucial for achieving optimal health. Bhujangasana steps can assist in achieving and maintaining such health conditions. This pose is particularly effective in enhancing digestive power, eliminating harmful bacteria and disease-causing germs, and regulating energy along beneficial pathways.
Let Us Take Some More Tips for Bhujangasana Yoga (Cobra Pose):
Firstly, it is important to treat your body with kindness and avoid forcing it to stretch beyond its limits. Pushing yourself too far in Bhujangasana can have negative effects on your body, rather than providing any benefits. It’s worth noting that individuals may have different variations in this pose, with some having their hips on the floor while others have them lifted. This discrepancy can be attributed to differences in flexibility and body proportions. However, these variations do not alter the benefits of Bhujangasana.
Secondly, it is crucial not to exert excessive effort while practicing the pose, as it may hinder your ability to achieve the correct posture. Relaxing your back is key to attaining the desired position. If you are feeling tense or stressed, it will be challenging to create the necessary arch in Bhujangasana. Remember, yoga is also about finding a sense of calm, so it’s important to cultivate relaxation during your practice.
Thirdly, maintaining overall body balance is essential. Strive to create a well-rounded routine of yoga postures. To achieve equilibrium in terms of arches and weight distribution, you can incorporate Shalabhasana after performing Saral hasta Bhujangasana and then transition to another variation. This balanced approach will enhance your yoga practice and optimize its benefits.
When Should You Not Do Bhujangasana?
Bhujangasana, also known as the Cobra pose, requires certain precautions and has specific contraindications. Pregnant women should avoid practicing this pose entirely, as should individuals with severe spine problems, ulcers, or hernias. On the other hand, those with a stiff back can benefit greatly from this pose, as well as women who are menstruating. However, if you have recently undergone surgery for lung, heart, back, brain, or similar conditions, it is strongly advised to avoid practicing the cobra pose. Furthermore, it is important not to increase the duration of the pose abruptly. Initially, start with a 10-second hold and repeat it five times. Gradually increase the duration to one minute and, if comfortable, to 5-10 minutes.