BHUJANGASANA or COBRA POSE
by Flo Yoga
Last week celebrations throughout the world marked the start of the Chinese New Year under the sign of the Snake.
While this animal can be seen as cunning, calculating and frightening, because of the fact that it sheds its skin several times a year, the snake, also embodies the ability to transform, renew and heal. Hence why the snake is often used as symbol of medicine.
A famous Cobra in yoga is the king Cobra or Serpent King, Mucalinda:
After his enlightenment, the Buddha had been meditating in the forest for six weeks when it started to rain heavily. A king cobra - known as Mucalinda - came out and placed his hood cover the Buddha’s head to protect him from the rain until the storm ended.
Bhujangasana, Cobra pose, is a great pose to strengthen the spine, maintain its range of motion and stimulate the abdominal organs whilst providing a lovely stretch to the chest.
- To perform this mighty pose, come onto your belly, rest your forehead onto the floor and place your hands directly underneath your shoulders with your elbows tucked in while sliding the tips of your shoulder blades toward your waist. Your feet should be hip-width apart and your legs engaged by pressing the top of your feet onto your mat. You will feel the back of your thighs and buttocks contract.
- Keep your tailbone long and on an inhalation, only so slightly press your hands against the floor and lift your chest in an even and harmonious backbend (not your hips however!). You can play with your gaze, looking either forward or up to the ceiling as long as you are not experiencing any pain in your neck.
- Hold the pose for five breaths and lower your chest and forehead back onto your mat. See how the front and back of your spine feel. After a little rest, repeat the pose another couple of times, experimenting with the pressure of your hands against the floor to be able to lift your chest higher and also with the duration in which you stay in the pose.
Similarly to the Locust Pose (or Salabhasana) which was described in last month’s blog, emphasis in the Cobra Pose needs to be put on a sense of openness in the chest but not to the detriment of your back.
Trust that you are reaping the benefits of this mighty pose regardless of the depth of your backbend. Happy New Year of the Snake, everyone!
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