The Health Benefits of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Posted by: cnyha on Dec 24, 2010 in news

Stressed out? Sick of that stiff, achy back? Our staff at CNY Healing Arts encourages you to give this asana a try. Bhujangasana, pronounced boo-jang-GAHS-anna, can be significantly useful at relieving discomfort in the muscles of the back, neck and abdomen. Furthermore, a little time spent in cobra pose can go a long way towards alleviating stress, anxiety and even depression. The best part: it’s free!

In Sanskrit, “bhujanga” means serpent or snake and “asana” means pose; hence the English, cobra pose. This invigorating backbend was named such because Bhujangasana reflects the posture of a cobra that has its hood raised. If you would like to practice this pose with the aid a qualified yoga instructor, click here to check out the yoga class schedule for each of our centers, located in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany.

Getting into Cobra Pose:
Start by lying flat on your stomach on a comfortable, level surface, preferably a yoga mat. Make sure your feet are together with the tops of them against the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders and hug your elbows against your rib cage. Close your eyes and inhale slowly, deeply. Feel the stability in your pelvis, thighs and tops of your feet. Imagine them rooted to the ground throughout Bhujangasana. Exhale gradually before opening your eyes. Continue breathing slow and deep.

As you inhale, steadily straighten your arms and lift your chest from the floor. Be mindful as you extend your arms. Do not fully straighten them if this feels uncomfortable. Rather, extend through and deepen your stretch to create a graceful, even arc in your back. Use the stretch in your legs and back, instead of exerting yourself to gain height and risk overarching the spine. Press your tailbone toward your pubis and lift your pubis toward your navel, narrowing your hips. Keep your shoulders broad, but relaxed, with the blades low on your back.

Lift from the top of your sternum, but avoid pushing the front of your ribs forward. Rather, puff your side ribs forward and keep your lower back relaxed. Try to distribute the stretch evenly along your spine. Breathe calmly and hold here for 5 to 10 breaths. As you exhale, gently release your body back to the floor.

Benefits of Cobra Pose:

  • Stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals
  • Decreases stiffness of the lower back
  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves menstrual irregularities
  • Elevates mood
  • Firms and tones the buttocks
  • Invigorates the heart
  • Stimulates organs in the abdomen, like the kidneys
  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Opens the chest and helps to clear the passages of the heart and lungs
  • Improves circulation of blood and oxygen, especially throughout the spinal and pelvic regions
  • Improves digestion
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Soothes sciatica
  • Helps to ease symptoms of asthma

0 responses to “The Health Benefits of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)”

  1. Thrivikramji says:

    I am seventy now, and had hernia since the early eighties. I have been wearing only a langotee or else it is a piece of cotton fabric stitched in the form of a engineers t-scale. Horizontal to wear or tie around the waist with knot in front, then the vertical like a tail will hang down and over your median of the buttocks or it will fall over the cleavage between the buns.
    Then I got a feeling that I should try bhujangasana pose. I’ve been doing it only for four days and see mainly there is great deal of comfort with hernia. There is roughly fifty percent cure.

  2. Amanda says:

    I don’t do yoga at all but have been having a lot of upper abdominal pain from Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome. I naturally have been doing the Cobra pose to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this illness but I didn’t know it was a yoga pose. I also have irregular menstural cycles. I showed my sister who does yoga what I do to alleviate the pain and she told me what it was called. So, coming from someone who knows nothing about poses/yoga this does help to alleviate stress, pain associated with the abdomen.

  3. […] isolate my hamstrings (the trick is to avoid rounding your back). To finish off, I do my favorite cobra pose, which safely stretches my abs, chest, and shoulder muscles at the same time, then shift to the […]

  4. Sangeet says:

    I was operated for hernia 8 yrs back and had a mesh implant there…. i find this exercise very useful for bodyaches and cervical problems…. Can I attempt this exercise? Hope is it not harmful for hernia operated persons.

  5. […]  (We’ll get to the pelvic floor again in a minute.)  You can also try cobra pose (aka bhujangasana) or child’s pose (aka balasana) to stretch your back and pelvis, the latter having the added […]

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