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Yoga - Bhujangasana

What is Bhujangasana?

Bhujangasana known as the Cobra pose is one of the standard poses in the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) sequence. The term has been coined from Sanskrit words bhujanga means cobra or snake and asana means pose.  It is a hatha yoga position which strengthens the spine; stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen; firms the buttocks; stimulates abdominal organs; helps relieve stress and fatigue; opens the heart and lungs.

 

What is the technique of Bhujangasana or how to practice Bhujangasana?

Lie face down with forehead touching the floor, legs and heels together. Place your hands flat on the ground under your shoulders or next to your face. Inhaling tighten into your shoulders or next to your face. Inhaling, tighten into your buttock muscles (or, if advanced you can tighten into you pelvic floor muscles) to support your lower back, then raise chest and head off the ground, initiating the movement with the strength of your back and using your hands to press into the floor for support. Keep your elbows on the floor. If you have a flexible spine and can attain the position using the strength of your back rather than pushing with your arms, then raise your elbows off the floor, keeping your hands in the same position. Hold this pose for three to 12 breaths. This is the static version of Bhujangasana.

There is a dynamic version also. For the dynamic posture, exhale as your lower your torso and head back down to the floor, returning to the starting position. Repeat raising and lowering your upper body, inhaling and exhaling as instructed, three to six times before holding the static position. Extend this pose by raising your chin upward to open and stretch the front of your neck, taking care to shorten the back of the neck as little as possible. If you have a neck problem, keep your head and extended in line with your spine.
 

What are the benefits of practicing Bhujangasana?

Bhujangasana is very good for strengthening the back muscles and increasing the flexibility of spine. It also makes the kidneys and adrenal glands stronger. It stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen; firms the buttocks and stimulates abdominal organs. It also helps to relieve stress and fatigue and opens the heart and lungs. With the practice of this pose blood circulation is also improve throughout the spine and pelvic area.

 
Cautions
Pregnant women should not do Bhujangasana. People with neck, back or wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome), problems should also be extremely careful while practicing it. If you have a neck issue you can keep your head straight and avoid looking up.
 

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