Cobra Pose Yoga – Bhujangasana – Benefits & Precautions
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) is a backward bend yoga asana that tones and strengthens the muscles controlling the spine. In almost all backward bend Yoga poses including Bhujangasana, the spinal nerves, which emerge from in between the adjoining vertebrae, are decompressed and decongested. Bhujangasana expands the chest and encourages inhalation. It is the seventh pose in the 12 poses of the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation yoga.
In Sanskrit, “Bhujanga” means “Cobra” and “asana” means “pose”; that’s why this Yogasana is also called ‘Cobra Pose’. Bhujangasana gives the appearance of a hooded cobra. The trunk, neck, and head, represent the hood. It is known that a Cobra is flexible, agile, active, and has a long life. By adopting Cobra Pose, a practitioner also gets these benefits.
- Spread a yoga mat or blanket on the floor and lie flat on the stomach, with legs straight, feet together, and the soles of the feet uppermost.
- Place the palms flat on the mat below the corresponding shoulders with the fingers together and pointing forward.
- Position the arms so that the elbows point backward and are close to the sides of the body.
- Rest the forehead on the floor and close the eyes, relaxing the whole body.
- While breathing in, raise the upper portion of the body slowly without a jerk.
- The manner of raising the body should be such that the bending of the vertebrae can be felt one by one with the pressure traveling downwards from cervical, dorsal, lumbar, and lastly to the sacral regions.
- The body should be raised using the back muscles first and then the arm muscles.
- In the final position, parts of the body that are below the navel should touch the ground.
- Either breathe normally in the final position or retain the breath if the final pose is held for a short time.
- To return to the initial position, exhale while first lowering the upper back, then lower the navel, chest, shoulders, and finally putting the forehead on the floor.
Bhujangasana Precautions & Contraindications
- People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, hyperthyroid and intestinal tuberculosis should either avoid practicing the asana or should perform under the guidance of an able yoga expert.
- People suffering from severe back problems should also either avoid this Yoga Pose or do it under the guidance of an expert Yoga Teacher.
- The deep and superficial muscles of the back are well-toned up.
- The pose relieves the pain in the back that may have come due to the overwork.
- The spine is made supple, strong, and healthy.
- The asana improves and deepens the breathing.
- Lethargy is removed and the practitioner becomes active.
- The abdominal muscles are pulled and thereby strengthened.
- The intra-abdominal pressure is increased to a very high level which helps in removing constipation.
- The whole abdominal viscera is toned up.
- It tones the ovaries and uterus and helps in relieving menstrual and other gynecological disorders.
- Every vertebra and its ligaments are pulled backward which ensures a rich blood supply.
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