Classic Yoga

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) Meaning, Steps, Benefits

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 postures 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
Name in Sanskritभुजङ्गासन
Name in IASTBhujaṅgāsana
English NameCobra Pose
Other NamesSarpasana
Serpent Pose
LevelBasic
GroupBhujangasana
TypeReclined Back Bending

Bhujangasana Meaning

Bhujangasana is a 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 Procedure

Precautions and Contraindications

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 conditions like hernia or who have undergone surgery in the 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 through routine practice.

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. A similar version is used in Yin Yoga also.

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 breaths. 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 counterposes for Cobra Pose.

Cobra Pose for beginners

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.

Cobra Pose Variations

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

Advanced Pose Considerations

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

Bhujangasana Benefits

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