Cobra position, known as Bhujangasana in Sanskrit, is a gentle backbend that opens the chest and strengthens the spine.

It's commonly included in yoga sequences and provides a great way to improve flexibility and posture.

Here’s how to perform Cobra Pose:

How to Perform Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

  1. Starting Position:

    • Lie face down on your mat with your legs extended straight back and the tops of your feet resting on the floor.
    • Place your hands under your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  2. Set Up:

    • Press the tops of your feet, thighs, and pelvis firmly into the mat.
    • Spread your fingers wide and position your hands so that your palms are flat on the mat.
  3. Lift Up:

    • Inhale and begin to lift your chest off the mat. Use the muscles of your back rather than pushing up with your hands initially.
    • Keep your elbows slightly bent and close to your sides.
  4. Open Your Chest:

    • Draw your shoulders back and down, away from your ears.
    • Lift through your sternum, extending your chest forward and up.
  5. Position Your Head:

    • Keep your neck neutral. Gaze forward or slightly upward without compressing the back of your neck.
  6. Hold the Pose:

    • Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, breathing deeply.
  7. Release:

    • Exhale and slowly lower your chest back to the mat, resting your forehead on the floor.

Tips for Cobra Pose

  • Engage Your Legs: Press your legs and feet into the mat to provide stability and support.
  • Lift with Your Back: Focus on lifting with your back muscles rather than pushing up with your hands.
  • Avoid Overarching: Keep your lower back long and avoid overarching it.
  • Use Props: If needed, place a rolled towel under your thighs for additional support.

Benefits of Cobra Pose

  • Strengthens the Spine: Enhances the strength and flexibility of the spinal muscles.
  • Opens the Chest: Stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen.
  • Improves Posture: Helps counteract the effects of sitting and hunching forward.
  • Stimulates Abdominal Organs: Can aid digestion by massaging internal organs.
  • Relieves Stress: Promotes relaxation and reduces stress by opening the heart center.

Contraindications

  • Back Injuries: Avoid Cobra Pose if you have serious back injuries or pain.
  • Pregnancy: Not recommended during pregnancy.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Be cautious if you have wrist issues or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Recent Abdominal Surgery: Avoid this pose if you have had recent abdominal surgery.

Cobra Pose is a foundational yoga pose that provides many benefits for both the body and mind. When practiced correctly, it can help improve flexibility, strength, and posture.

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