Yoga Poses

Sarpasana – The Snake Pose

Sarpasana – Steps, Benefits & Contraindications

In the final position, the posture of the body resembles a snake and that is why it is named Sarpasana. Sarpasana is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Sarpam’ which means a snake. Sarpasana can be also classified as one of the variants of Bhujangasana. It has the same benefits as those of Bhujangasana, with additional benefits being that this asana helps to correct the posture, particularly the rounded shoulders. This asana stretches the lungs and has a profound strengthening effect on the back muscles.

Sarpasana Steps

  • Lie flat on the stomach, with the chin on the floor, feet together and legs straight.
  • Interlock the fingers and place the hands on top of the buttocks.
  • This is the starting position.
  • Inhale and using the lower back muscles, raise your chest as far as possible from the floor.
  • Push the hands further back, and raise the arms as high as is comfortable.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together, open up the chest and imagine that the arms are being pulled from behind.
  • Raise the body as high as is possible without straining and look forward.
  • Hold the position as long as is comfortable, keeping the breaths deep and slow.
  • Exhale and slowly return to the starting position and relax the whole body.
  • Release the hands and relax the arms by the sides of the body.
  • Turn the head on one side.
  • This is one round. Practice two to three rounds.

Sarpasana Benefits

  • Sarpasana helps correct the posture, particularly rounded shoulders.
  •  The regular practice of Snake Pose strengthens the back muscles and spine.
  • Sarpasana stretches chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
  • Its regular practice stimulates abdominal organs like the liver, kidneys, and digestive organs.
  • It also tones the ovaries and the uterus and helps in menstrual and other gynecological problems.
  • Sarpasana can be used as a therapeutic for asthma as it deepens breathing.

Sarpasana Contraindications

People suffering from Peptic ulcer, Hernia, Intestinal tuberculosis, Hyperthyroidism should avoid practicing Sarpasana or should practice it under the guidance of a competent yoga expert.

Sarpasana is a backward bend yoga pose. It can be followed by Salabhasana and also Shashankasana.

Also, visit – Bhujangasana-The Cobra Pose

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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