How to do the cobra pose?

What are the benefits and dangers of the cobra pose? What are the steps to do it well? What muscles are used? Find out all about this anti-stress asana.

The cobra posture (Bhujangâsana) is a very popular asana in yogaespecially in hatha yoga. It is part of the routine practiced during the Sun Salutation to awaken the body and gain vital energy.. Symbolizing the strength of the snake which is a sacred animal in India, the cobra posture can be performed daily to feel its benefits.

Why do the cobra pose?

The cobra posture has many benefits for body and mind. By achieving this dorsal curvature, the posture will stretch the spine, thus helping to relieve tension in the back, neck and shoulders. These are areas where stress accumulates which will then decrease with the help of the breath work of this asana. This spinal stretch will also be effective in correcting your alignment and ensuring proper upper body support.. Your lung capacity will improve since the chest is open during stretching, which will lead to better oxygenation and increased blood circulation. Finally, kidney function will also be improved thanks to the contraction of the pelvis performed during the posture of the cobra.

What muscles are used in the cobra pose?

It is mainly the back muscles (the lumbar ones) that work during this backward bending. Because the rib cage is stretched during the cobra pose, the intercostal muscles, which allow the development of respiratory capacity, are also solicited.

If it seems simple, the cobra pose requires several steps to be done well and avoid pain. here are the tips to follow to do it correctly.

  • The placement : Lie on the floor on your stomach, with your legs straight and your feet together pointing backwards. Place your hands on either side of your chest with your elbows bent.
  • Movement : Push on the palms of the hands, while inhaling deeply, to lift the trunk and raise the head. The pelvis remains flat on the ground, while the chin is pointed forward (looking towards the sky). The elbows are slightly bent and the shoulders are rolled back in order to open the rib cage. Contract the buttocks and thighs to maintain balance and avoid tremors. Try to hold the position for 20 seconds, focusing your attention on your breathing.
  • Lowering : Bend the elbows and lower the arms, then gently rest the bust on the floor during an exhalation. Return to the starting position and breathe to relax the body.
© antoniodiaz

What are the dangers of the cobra pose?

Although it allows relieve back tension, the posture of the cobra can, on the contrary, accentuate them if it is badly carried out or if the pains are sustained. Thus, pay attention to the correct alignments during the posture to avoid injuries. This asana can also be dangerous for growth in children and adolescents. The opinion of a doctor will be necessary to practice the posture of the cobra. Finally, be aware that this posture is contraindicated if you are pregnant, have heart problems, suffer from chronic pain or severe headaches.

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How to do the cobra pose?

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