• Spinal joints
• For continuing
• Strengthens the spine.
• Stretches the pectoral muscles, abs and shoulders.
• For problems with the lower back
• Extensor muscle of the back
• Square muscle of the lower back
• Latissimus dorsi
• Gluteus maximus muscle
• Middle gluteus maximus
• Pectoralis major muscle
• Rectus abdominis muscle
• Middle deltoid muscle
• Big round muscle
• Small round muscle
1. Lie on the floor with your stomach down, legs should be extended behind and slightly spread apart. The gaze should be directed forward, and the arms should be bent so that the hands and arms lay on the floor to the elbow.
2. Rest your palms on the floor and slowly raise your torso, starting from the chest, straightening your arms until they are straight.
3. Pull the tailbone into the pubic bone, moving your shoulders down and back. Stretch your neck and look forward.
4. Hold in this position for 15 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat, doing three approaches.
• The look should be directed forward.
• Hands should be on the floor approximately shoulder-length apart.
• The head should not lean back.
• Do not jerk when you raise your torso. Instead, move slowly, controlling every movement.
• The body should not rotate.
• Do not stretch too much - if you bend too much, then the tension on the lower back can be excessive.
Description of the cobra pose
Bhujanga - in Sanskrit means “snake”, in this position a person imitates a snake raising its head. At the final stage, the yoga pose looks like a hood of a snake, or rather a cobra, which is why it is called Bhujangasana. It provides great help to the "digestive fire", helping to cleanse the body.
Asana is the main posture of Hatha Yoga and is often practiced either on its own or as part of Salutations to the Sun (Surya Namaskar), held at number 7.
It promotes weight loss and keeps the muscles of the body in good shape, which can be seen a few weeks after the introduction of this pose in your exercises. So that the food is digested and has enough energy to perform the exercises, the pose of Bhujangasan is practiced on an empty stomach or after 4-6 hours.
It is better if gymnastics is practiced in the morning, but you can practice in the evening.
Step by step
Lie comfortably on your stomach, stretch your torso, arms, legs and relax. Keep your feet together and stretch your feet. Press the upper parts of the legs to the floor, point your fingers outward.
Then, along with the exhalation, bend your elbows and place your palms on the mat next to your body at the height of the diaphragm or just below the navel (depending on the ratio of the length of the arms and body). Keep your hands parallel and close to your body. Press the pubic bone to the floor and tighten the buttocks. With a breath, raise your head, neck and chest. With an exhale, lower and relax the body.
With the next breath, go to a full and deeper position - try to gently push your palms off the floor. Straighten your elbows, pressing your pubic bone and pelvis against the mat to stabilize your lower back, and push your legs to the floor. Hold in the position of the cobra for a few calm breaths and, together with the exhalation, return to the starting position.
Remember to open the chest and do not transfer the weight of the body completely to the hands. Keep your elbows slightly bent. If you feel pressure in the lower back, discomfort in the neck, leave the position.
Performing the exercise, you should be comfortable. If you can’t keep your legs together at the beginning, you can keep them separate, at a distance slightly wider than your hips.
Vinyasa for Bhajangasana
If you want to include asana in the practice of vinyasa, the most convenient predecessor is Chaturanga Dandasana, which is part of the salutation to the sun. Perform Chaturanga Dandasana as you exhale and non-stop gently lie down on your stomach. With the next exhalation, go to Bhujangasana. Otherwise, wait one breathing cycle (calm inhale, exhale). Together with the breath, enter the asana, and exit with the exhale (repeat this cycle six times).
After the last exercise of the cobra, with a breath, enter the position of the dog with his head raised up or prepare for Chaturanga Dandasana (put your arms and legs) and enter the position with the exhalation.
How to enter asana?
We start with maximum relaxation lying on your stomach. The forehead touches the floor, legs together, socks are pulled back, hands lie along the body. After complete relaxation for 30-40 seconds. We begin the smooth movement:
- we place the palms of the hands at shoulder level, the elbows are bent and touch the body,
- on inspiration, we begin to slowly raise our heads, sliding our chins on the floor and stretching our heads forward and up. At the same time, we feel how the neck muscles tighten and the spine begins to bend,
- the next stage is to raise the shoulders and continue to bend the spine in the thoracic region. This is achieved through the work of the back muscles. Hands remain relaxed. It’s important to mentally observe how each vertebra gradually bends,
- we complete the exercise with the help of hands, bending the lumbar. It’s important that the lower abdomen does not come off the floor,
- Having reached the limit, we keep the maximum position achieved in dynamics until discomfort. For beginners, this is 5-10 seconds. Gradually, the static stage can be increased to 1 minute. We concentrate as much as possible on the spine and kidneys.
We leave the asana in the reverse order, gradually relaxing the back muscles. The chin and head fall to the floor last. Friends, you must remember that during the asana, there should be no pain! Repeat exercise 3 times.
We start the movement by inspiration. On exhalation, we return to the starting position. Repeat the movement several times. You can linger on the static part of the pose, breathe freely, after 5-10 cycles of breathing on the exhale, return to its original position.
Features of the exercise technique
- It is important to methodically focus on the deflection of the vertebrae during the entry and exit of the exercise. This creates a powerful healing effect and allows you to evenly distribute energy in the body,
- the load must be distributed symmetrically,
- when entering the asana, the fingertips should be at shoulder level. The arms extended forward straighten early and prevent full bending,
- not permissible jerking during entry,
- the main deflection is performed in the chest, the deflection in the lumbar should be easier. At the same time, the shoulders are pulled back and down, the arms are slightly bent at the elbows and touch the body.
You can perform a lighter type of exercise. It is called "ardha bhujangasana" (half). In this case, the hands remain on the floor. The position of the body resembles the pose of the sphinx. This option is recommended for pensioners, people with health problems and beginners, and even suitable for stooped back. A complex of yoga for the elderly, we examined in the blog articles.
A more sophisticated option is called "tyryaka." At the same time, in the final phase of the snake’s pose, a pause is made on inspiration, the shoulders and head turn smoothly to the left, the eyes look at the right kidney, exhale relaxation, inhale, pause, turn right, look at the left kidney. Such an asana has a therapeutic effect on the body. At the same time, we focus on the organ whose work we want to improve.
You can perform the exercise, crossing legs alternately, first the right foot from above, then the left, This creates an additional twist of the spine. This variation is useful for people with scoliosis.
Very flexible people can perform the full snake pose. At the same time, in the static phase of the movement with the tips of the toes, we touch the head thrown back.
The value of exercise for the body
When performing the asana, we fix the attention on the thyroid gland as much as possible, then on the spine and kidneys. Bhujangasana has a beneficial effect on the whole body:
- restores energy
- helps with problems with the spine (stoop, osteochondrosis, radiculitis, back pain),
- relieves nervous tension, improves mood,
- strengthens the muscles of the back and abdomen,
- restores hormonal levels,
- supports kidney function, prevents the formation of stones,
- Bhujangasana contributes to the normalization of the urogenital system in both women and men.
Why is this one of the main yoga exercises
In this article, you received a full description of how to properly perform this asana. In conclusion, I want to once again focus your attention on the fact that this exercise is considered one of the main ones. Why is this so? The fact is that when this exercise is performed, the adrenal glands are actively stimulated. At the same time, the synthesis of stress hormone (cortisol) is reduced, and the synthesis of testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone is enhanced. This is a scientifically proven fact.
What does this mean for you and me? We all want to be active, strong, able-bodied, not to fall into melancholy, but rather to be temperamental and, finally, to stay young as long as possible. For all these qualities testosterone and dehydroepianrosterone are responsible.
The systematic practice of this exercise brings many benefits, makes a person more cheerful, more self-confident, eliminates complexes. It is very important to practice this exercise before important competitions, exams, and other significant events in life.
That is where we end our conversation today. Always happy to receive feedback. Questions can be asked here. Remember to subscribe to blog updates. I hope you enjoyed the article and share it with your friends. Bye, until new interesting meetings.
Variations and modifications
Before moving on to the pose, focus on your third eye, the space between the eyebrows. From here, begin to raise the head and upper back, take the cobra pose, holding the spine and neck.
The third eye often allows you to rise higher and naturally bend back. Going back, look at the tip of the nose and follow it all the way to the floor.
Always keep your lower back relaxed and avoid the temptation to rise high enough before the body is ready. If your neck is tense, look forward or to the floor.
To facilitate the work of the wrists, you can stay on your elbows (sphinx posture from Yin Yoga) and raise them higher with the help of a yoga block if you want to get a deeper deflection.
The snake pose in yoga for advanced practitioners can be deepened by simultaneously raising the legs and bringing the feet to the buttocks, as well as raising the chest on inhalation. This modification perfectly prepares Rajakapotanasana for asana.
Another modification is to extend straight arms behind you, folding your palms at the level of the lower back (buttocks), and with the inhale raise the body and head. In this variant of body flexion, the work of the hands is transferred to the muscles of the shoulders and buttocks, which are very tense to support the body. Hands can be folded in Namaste.
The asana has a variation called Bheka Bhujangasana - when the legs bent at the knees cross under your hips. This action:
- makes the spine more flexible and strong
- tones the organs of the lower abdomen,
- stimulates the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems,
- regulates metabolism by balancing weight
- makes the buttocks firm and firm
- expands the lungs, shoulders, chest, abdomen,
- opens the lungs and heart
- relieves sciatica and asthma.
Variation with a chair
If your muscles are very tense, you can use the stool option:
- Place the chair 12.5 cm from the wall.
- Sit comfortably, firmly press the soles of your feet to the floor.
- Raise your arms above your head.
- Try to bend them back, touch the walls with your fingertips.
Benefits and contraindications
The cobra pose in yoga deepens the body, opens the chest wider, strengthens the muscles of the buttocks, strengthens the muscles supporting the body, elasticizes the spine, gently stretches the muscles of the abdomen. The pose strengthens the entire shoulder area and upper back. She also:
- promotes greater flexibility in the lower back,
- Massages the digestive system
- relieves menstrual pain.
Maintaining and practicing posture for a long period promotes weight loss, helps to remove fat from the abdomen and gradually acquire a flat stomach. The snake regulates metabolism and controls weight.
Exercise helps with thyroid disease: symptoms of the disease can be minimized through regular practice. To do this, stretch the neck area, raising the chin to the ceiling or sky.
This is one of the best positions for treating back pain.
The practice of asanas will relieve stiffness of the spine - it will be healthy and flexible. Helps with asthmatic attacks and overload of the respiratory tract. The practice of the position is good for solving gynecological problems, diseases of the ovaries, uterus, regulation of the menstrual cycle. It will save you from many gynecological conditions and strengthen reproductive organs.
The pose of the cobra provides the proper secretion of gastric juice, helping a person solve many stomach problems (constipation, upset, etc.).
Pose relieves stress, anxiety, fatigue. Improves stress resistance. Relieves pain in the sciatic nerve - this is the best yoga exercise for flexibility.
Bhujangasana can be performed by people with a spinal disease (if they are not very serious).
The benefits that the body of the asana brings will be beneficial to those who bend and bend for many hours during a busy day.
Precautions and contraindications
When starting to practice, you should always report your problems to the teacher, who will help determine the degree of entry into the position.
One of the most common mistakes made by asana practitioners, especially beginners, is to strain the neck and lower back. You should practice at a comfort level, so do not try to overload the lower back, but evenly distribute muscle tension to the upper, middle and lower parts to create a graceful, even arc.
Avoid posture if you have:
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- severe injuries to the shoulder and elbows.
Do not perform the cobra pose if you have undergone abdominal surgery or are pregnant.
Features of Bhujangasana
In this pose, as in no other, the correct technique is especially important. Ardha bhujangasana helps harmonize and stabilize the body's hormonal background, especially the function of the adrenal glands and thyroid gland. It also helps to reduce the production of stress hormones, which means it can help people who are stressed and have severe acute and chronic depressive conditions. Regular practice of yoga with the inclusion of this pose leads to an increase in the production of pleasure hormones, which gradually reduces the level of tension and anxiety.
At the physical level, performing an asana helps to gently stretch the spine and develop its flexibility and mobility, helps to increase the volume of the chest, lengthens and strengthens the neck, makes the arms and back muscles stronger.With regular practice of the final positions, asanas become stronger and more prominent muscles of the buttocks. The practice of this pose in yoga helps to relieve fatigue, muscle and emotional strain.
This pose is one of the best in yoga for beginners, as it is a simple "bending back asana." But, if you are a beginner, then you should not enter the asana on your own, because without the guidance of an experienced mentor, you will greatly strain your back and neck. In order for this to not happen, you need to find a height that suits you, and make sure that the neck and back are relaxed, not strained. It is especially important to focus on your sensations in order to prevent unnecessary and painful muscle tension.
Indications for implementation
In yoga, the cobra pose is considered most useful for unlocking the Kundalini energy. It helps harmonize all processes in the body and helps restore hormonal balance. The most useful ardha bhujangasana is for asthmatics, people suffering from respiratory problems, having sand and kidney stones (it is forbidden to practice during an exacerbation of the process), as well as men with complications in potency caused by lack of testosterone, women with congestive pelvic diseases and gynecological adhesions.
Practitioners of yoga believe that this posture helps to cope with depression, especially if it is provoked by a lack of hormones or dissatisfaction with one’s own appearance. Since when the neck is stretched, the thyroid gland is stimulated, the release of its hormones increases, which is useful for hypofunction of this important organ. Also, the posture helps to cope with lower back pain with radiculitis, however, its implementation must be very accurate and correct so as not to harm or aggravate the condition. Also, this yoga exercise can work with pain due to displacement of the vertebrae, however, this condition requires prior consultation with the doctor and its resolution.
Cobra pose is prohibited in the following cases:
- In any acute conditions or exacerbations of chronic diseases, especially those associated with the spine and joints (pinching, hernia, injury, displacement).
- With a severe cold with a high fever and poor health.
- During menstruation.
- During pregnancy (with a period of up to 8 weeks and in the absence of complications and contraindications, you can, listening to the reaction of your body).
- During an exacerbation of chronic diseases of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity, in the acute stage of the initial disease.
- Since advanced ardha bhujangasana involves throwing the head back, it can be harmful to people with hyperthyroidism. They can perform asana only by avoiding tipping their heads, limiting themselves to stretching their necks - this does not force the gland to excessively produce hormones, but, on the contrary, harmonizes its work.
- When strong pain and discomfort appear, you need to return to the initial stage of the asana for beginners in yoga. Perhaps you overestimated your strength and overloaded the body.
A simplified option for beginners
For those people who have just come to yoga, have a weak back and arms, it is worth starting with the simpler version that the cobra pose has. It is called the Sphinx pose and is designed to teach the beginner the correct technique for performing asana. Only after complete assimilation of the simplified version can we proceed to complete the exercise. Usually, by the time the asana will easily give in and the person will be able to do it without unnecessary efforts, his muscles will strengthen sufficiently, become strong, and his back will gain the necessary flexibility.
At the first stage of development, you don’t need to try to work, overcoming pain - any discomfort indicates that you are doing something wrong or overly zealous.
1. Lie on your stomach on the floor.
2. Position the legs in parallel, stretching out the socks. At the first executions, do not close the legs for simplification.
3. Hands should be located so that when lifting the body, the elbows are under the shoulder joints.
4. Lift the upper part of the body, leaning on the elbows and cranking the neck.
5. Do not tilt your head, but try to stretch the back of the neck and spine as far as possible, directing the chin down to the chest.
6. When performing the asana, do not raise the shoulders up - this “closes” the chest, overloads the muscles of the arm and back, strains the spine, interferes with normal blood circulation and breathing.
7. The purpose of the exercise is to lengthen and develop the flexibility of the spine, so during the session you need to constantly monitor the correct position of all parts of the body.
8. At the initial stages of training, the goal is not to stress all the muscles of the body, so the feet are slightly apart, and the buttocks are practically not involved.
9. As soon as you feel that your body allows you to move more freely, proceed to the next step.
When performing this pose, yoga requires the strict observance of all the rules. The legs should be extended, brought together and pressed firmly to the floor. During the exercise, the pubis and hips should not be torn off the floor - the backward movement is due to the deflection of the spine.
The neck should be extended, not overstretched. If, for health reasons, it is forbidden to throw your head back, you should try to maximize the occipital surface, lengthening the spine and directing the chin to the chest. In no case should you "press your shoulders to your ears" - the chest should be deployed and opened, the shoulders are not strained.
The main mistake of those who have just begun to engage in - the desire to break away from the floor with the help of hand power. You do not need to do this, otherwise you can give too much strain on the hands and hands. The rise is carried out by the strength of the muscles of the body and abdomen. The movement should be smooth, soft, without jerking - this can cause injury to the spine.
1. Lie on the floor, face down, legs extended and brought together.
2. The palms are located on the sides at shoulder level.
3. On inspiration, gently tear the upper body off the floor and rise, keeping your arms bent at the elbows.
4. Perform two cycles of breathing calmly and slowly, then by inspiration raise the body even higher, trying to bend in the chest and lumbar spine. Do not crush on your hands!
5. Fully straighten your arms, stretch your neck, directing the chin down towards the chest.
6. Conduct two more complete breathing cycles, focusing on the “third eye” area.
7. Then increase the deflection in the lower back and thoracic region, trying to bend the spine and directing the head back without bending in the neck.
8. At the final stage, tighten the buttocks and try to maximize retract the anus.
9. The whole body should be tense, but not constrained.
The goal of the asana is to achieve maximum mobility of the spine. He must get rid of stiffness and excessive rigidity, become mobile, like a real snake. Ideally, in this position, the thoracic region easily projects forward, forming a semicircle.
When performing the exercise, you need to focus on the correct position of the limbs and the whole body. In this case, there should be no discomfort, only a pleasant feeling of fatigue and overcoming the resistance of your own body.
The Science of Bhujangasan
Asana Cobra is one of those universal yoga asanas necessary in any practice, because it has health-improving properties.
Asana works at the opening of the chakras (four out of seven): Visuddhi, Anahata, Manipur, Chadhisthana.
Yoga requires dedication and determination, but also provides a wide range of health benefits and improves a person’s quality of life. Most of us are accustomed to various pains caused by our lifestyle, and therefore we try to ignore the discomfort, and if the pain is too noticeable, we drink medicine.
Asana affects all the muscles of the back and shoulders, helps to eliminate tension in the muscles, and therefore is so effective. It should be part of gymnastics to strengthen the muscles of the back.
Yoga combines physical and mental disciplines to increase muscle flexibility and body tone, as well as eliminate stress and anxiety. However, many asanas are so simple that they can even be done by toddlers and children.