Cobra Pose


cobrapose

16. Cobra Pose: Bhujangasana

Purposes and Benefits:

  • Targets lower back
  • Prevents lower back pain
  • Helps to cure lumbago, rheumatism, and spinal arthritis
  • Relieves menstrual problems, such as backaches, cramps, and irregularity
  • Cures loss of appetite
  • Aids in correcting posture
  • Enhances functioning of liver and spleen
  • Boosts concentration
  • Increases spinal flexibility and strength
  • Invigorates deltoids, trapezius, and triceps
  • Massages and tones back muscles

(NOTE: This pose requires 80-20 breathing, whose “How-to-Do” is described first. The “How-to-Do” for the pose is explained immediately after.)

How to Do 80-20 Breathing:

  • Begin by taking a full breath as if preparing to head underwater
  • As you inhale, lift ribs while engaging and stretching abdominal muscles
  • Move into pose while exhaling 20% of air through nose with closed mouth
  • Continue to breathe this way: inhale fully and exhale 20% of air while keeping lungs 80% full

How to Do:

  • Lie on belly
  • Put palms flatly on floor directly underneath shoulders, fingertips in line with tops of shoulders
  • Keep legs and feet together and keep them stretched down and back
  • Draw shoulders down and keep elbows in close to ribs
  • For next step, use strength of spine and legs rather than arms (it’s not a push up)
  • Inhale, look up to ceiling, and arch head and torso back until belly button just touches floor.
  • Ensure that arms are “L-shaped” at 90 degrees
  • Maintain slightly raised gaze and avoid supporting body weight with hands
  • To prepare for 80-20 breathing, keep elbows tightly to sides of body and relax face
  • Hold pose for 20 seconds while doing 80-20 breathing
  • Lower chin to floor
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