Bhujangasana: All you need to know about

Introduction

Bhujangasana is one of the Hatha Yoga Poses found mentioned in medieval Hatha Yoga Texts like Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita.

It has become one of the most important posture of modern yoga for the reason that it is a follow-up posture for any forward bending yoga postures. It also serves as a resting pose in between the practice of two postures.

Let us have a look at its meaning, step-by-step procedure, and its benefits.

Bhujangasana Information

Pose NameBhujangasana
Sanskritभुजङ्गासन
IASTBhujaṅgāsana
English NameCobra Pose
Other NamesSarpasana
Serpent Pose
LevelBasic
GroupBhujangasana
TypeReclined Back Bending

Bhujangasana Meaning

Bhujangasana is the combination of two Sanskrit words: Bhujanga and Asana. Bhujanga means cobra or snake. Hence we call in English as Cobra Pose. This posture when performed looks like a cobra with its hood raised.

Some Hatha Yoga Texts like Yoga Karnika call this pose as Sarpasana or Serpent Pose.

Bhujangasana Step-by-Step Procedure

Bhujangasana Safety and Precautions

Normally, Cobra Pose does not involve any risk. However those who are having lower back pain or spine injury or disorder should consult their physician before attempting this posture.

One should avoid this pose immediately after a meal. There must be a gap of at least three hours between a meal and the practice of this posture.

During pregnancy and periods, one should avoid this posture.

People who have hernia or who have undergone surgery in abdomen should avoid this posture.

Preparatory Poses

The performance of this posture is pretty easy and one can do this effortlessly. Those who have a tight back may find it difficult to get perfection in this posture. However, they will get mastery by routine practice.

Salamba Bhujangasana aka Supported Cobra Pose is an easier version of Cobra Pose. This version serves as the preparatory pose for those who have difficulty in doing Cobra Pose. Supported Cobra Pose is also known as Spinx Pose. Similar version is used in Yin Yoga also.

Makarasana or Crocodile Pose also serves as a preparatory pose for mastering Cobra Pose.

Bhujangasana Steps

Step 1

Lie on your stomach. Bend your elbows fully and place your palms on the floor at the shoulder level. Have a couple of normal breath. Before going to the next step, exhale.

Step 2

By inhaling, bend your back raising your torso and straighten your hands. Arch your neck and raise your head. Keep your eye-sight in the upward direction.

Step 3

Keep your thighs, hips, and legs touch the floor. if you could not straighten the hands fully, adjust your elbows to keep your arms with a little bend. Keep the position. Breathe normally. Before releasing the pose, inhale.

Step 4

By exhaling, bring down your torso and head to the position in Step-1. Have a couple of normal breathing.

Duration

Initially, the posture may be kept for a duration of one or two minutes and gradually it can be extended up to five minutes.

Follow Up Poses

The following poses are the counter poses for Cobra Pose.

Tips for the beginner

If strain or pressure is experienced at your back or neck, adjust the elbow and neck or release the posture. By routine practice, increase the duration of posture.

Bhujangasana Variations

The following postures are variations and belong to the group of Cobra Pose.

  • Bheka Bhujangasana (Frog Cobra Pose)
  • Shashanka Bhujangasana (Striking Cobra Pose)
  • Tiryaka Bhujangasana (Twisting Cobra Pose)
  • Poorna Bhujangasana (Complete Cobra Pose)

Advanced Pose Considerations

After getting mastery over Cobra Pose, one may consider the other variations in the same group.

Bhujangasana Benefits

It activates Kundalini. Besides this, this pose activates Muladhara, Svadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, and Visuddhi Chakras.

Upper chest, shoulder joints and Neck joints will open and they become more flexible.

Cobra Pose helps the conditions like lower back pain and Sciatica Pain.

It stimulates the abdominal organs like kidney, lever, and pancreas and thereby their functions will improve.

This Pose tones up adrenal and thyroid glands and improve their fuctions.

The muscles around stomach, spine, and lower back become more flexible.

It stimulates the ovary and uterus and prevents menstrual disorders and urinary track disorders.

It helps in the functioning of the lungs.

This pose burns the extra belly fat. It helps in weight management. This pose increases the metabolic rate and thereby it results in a decrease in blood glucose, cholesterol, nitrogen in urine and increase in blood protein. This helps in conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Cobra Pose improves digestion.

It drives stress and anxiety away. It provides relaxation and rest to the body and mind. By this, it helps in the conditions like insomnia and Hypertension.

This pose strengthens the shoulders and arms.

Cobra Pose straightens the spine and helps in improving height.