It has been said that “you are as young as your spine is flexible”. I believe there is a lot of truth to that. In yoga, the Cobra pose, also known as Bhujangasana, can help keep your spine youthful and flexible.
There are other numerous, wonderful benefits of the Cobra pose. It can help your digestive tract by stimulating your digestive organs. It helps to open up your chest, improving your breathing.
What you’ll need
The Cobra pose is a floor exercise. What you’ll need is your yoga mat and a little bit of time and patience. Remember to never practice any yoga on a full stomach. Wait about 90 minutes after eating before engaging in asanas (yoga poses).
Be sure to practice in a well ventilated, quiet room (soothing ambient music is okay and could even help you focus and relax). Wear clothing that does not constrict the body and allows you to move freely.
Before we start, as always, I recommend checking with your physician before beginning any new physical activity.
The Cobra pose. Let’ s begin.
Cobra pose 1:
Start with your body lying face-down on your mat with your legs, feet, and toes stretched straight out behind you. Place your hands under your shoulder with the tips of your fingers pointing to the top of your mat.
Slowly straighten your elbows, keeping them close to your body and inhale as you gradually and cautiously pull up your head, neck and trunk. Allowing your lower ribs to remain on the mat, lift up only as far as is comfortable, without any force. Hold the pose for five to ten seconds.
In a smooth, steady motion, while slowly exhaling, move your chest, neck and head back down to your mat and rest your arms by your sides with your face down on either side. Relax and let go. Allow your entire body to relax. Remain in this relaxed state for a minute.
Cobra pose 2:
Let’s repeat the motions and remember to slowly inhale. Again, go only as far up as is comfortable. This time, when your head, neck and torso are extended, try to stay up a bit longer. Then slowly turn your head to the left, back to the center, to the right and then back to the center again.
And once again on the exhale, slowly bring your torso down and at the halfway point, extend your arms by your side and continue down until your body is resting on your mat with your face to the other side this time, if comfortable. Stay in this position fully relaxed for two minutes or so.
For the third posture, simply repeat the motions in Cobra pose 1. Afterwards, let your body relax and fully let go.
As with many yoga poses, it can sometimes be challenging to coordinate your breathing along with the moves. Never be discouraged. With practice it becomes second nature.
Remember not to push or force yourself into a position that is not comfortable for you. Be patient and listen to your body. With regular practice your spine will become more flexible and regain its youthful feel.
Peace, Lee Marie