The art of yoga has been a part of Indian culture since ancient times. This miraculous tradition consists of a set of physical, mental, and spiritual techniques that aim at achieving the complete well-being of the body, mind, and soul. It is made up of several different techniques such as body poses, meditation, breath control, and chanting, among many others.
Unlike intensive exercises, yoga can be done by anybody, anywhere. From young people to the elderly and the busy officegoers to pregnant women, there are types of yoga that are suitable for everyone.
Yoga routines are built very intricately, with a series of poses that follow one after another, linked together seamlessly. Each pose plays an important role, focusing on specific regions of your body.
Today, we are going to talk about one such pose that is rather popular and teeming with benefits. This pose is called the bhujangasana or the cobra pose, and it might just be what you need to give your daily lifestyle that extra boost of health.
What is Bhujangasana?
So, what is bhujangasana? The etymology of the names of each yoga is something that always has a deeper meaning. For bhujangasana, the word can be divided into two parts: bhujang, meaning “snake” or “serpent” and asana meaning “seat” or “posture”. Hence, just as its name implies, bhujangasana is also known as the cobra pose, because when a person does it, their body resembles a serpent or cobra with its hood raised.
The bhujangasana is a gentle reclining backbend pose which is commonly performed as a part of a Sun Salutation routine, where it can act as a lighter alternative of the Upperward Facing Dog pose. While it adds to whichever routine it is a part of, there are many benefits of bhujangasana on its own as well.
How to do Bhujangasana?
Now that you have been introduced to this pose, it is time to learn how to do bhujangasana. Unlike strenuous and exhausting exercises, yoga postures can easily be made a part of your schedule, at your skill level.
Thus, while you may stumble initially, finding yourself stiff and awkward, you will eventually find your pace and comfort. And you won’t regret it either, because the various bhujangasana benefits make the time you spent mastering it is worth everything.
Here is how to do bhujangasana steps successfully:
- First, lie on your stomach with your toes flat on the feet and forehead resting on the ground.
- Keep your legs together, with the heels and feet lightly touching each other.
- Then, place your hands on the ground, right under your shoulder with the palms facing downwards. Make sure that your elbows are parallel and close to your torso.
- Take a deep breath in and slowly lift your head, abdomen, and chest, while also ensuring that your navel is still on the ground.
- Using your hands as support, pull your torso back and away from the floor. Make sure that you are putting equal pressure on both of your palms.
- As you keep breathing in, you will become more and more aware, feeling as you curve each vertebra in your spine, one by one. If you are flexible enough, straighten your arms while arching your back as much as possible, while keeping the pubic bone on the floor.
However, if you are not comfortable with that and are unable to keep your shoulders away from your ears, relax them by bending your elbows if necessary. With time, you will be able to settle into a deeper arch during this pose.
Maintain this as a pose for a certain count, as long as you can keep your breathing steady. You can hold for around 15 to 30 seconds if possible.
- Keep your gaze fixed on one point on the floor to ensure that the neck stays neutral throughout this.
- Make sure that your feet are still close together. Keep breathing and smiling through this pose, engaging different parts of your body, seeking that state of peace.
- Exhale as you come down from the pose and lower your body back to the floor.
Precautions to take during Bhujangasana
As eager as you may be to get all the possible bhujangasana benefits, you should still be careful with each of the bhujangasana steps. Remember to keep your hands aligned under the body and to keep the shoulders away from the ears. If straightening your arms fully puts a strain on your back, you can bend them at the elbows slightly. Elbows should also be close to your sides and pointing backward.
When you do this pose, avoid overextending your neck backward. While the neck will be arched as a result of this pose, this should be due to a natural extension of the upper spine and not because of excess craning on your end.
Know your body and understand when it is telling you its limits. You can always try certain modifications of the bhujangasana steps to make things easier.
Do not try this pose if an injury to your arms, back, or shoulder, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, if you have recently had abdominal surgery or if you are pregnant. As positive as the benefits of bhujangasana may be, it is most important to maintain safety and be careful with your body first.
What are the benefits of Bhujangasana?
Now that you know all about how to do the bhujangasana, you may just need a final step to try out this fantastic yoga pose. Well, allow us to tell you about all the bhujangasana benefits so that you can know just what results in you will be rewarded with after all your hard work.
- It helps in toning the organs that lie in the lower abdomen.
- The backbend helps in making your spine more flexible and longer.
- It gives the shoulders, chest, lungs and abdomen a good stretch, while also making the buttocks firm.
- It stimulates various systems of the body such as the reproductive, urinary and digestive systems.
- Like all yoga poses, it helps in releasing the stress held within are body and gives a relaxing effect.
- This opens up the heart and the lungs.
- It helps in relieving conditions like asthma and sciatica.
Finding peace in the art of yoga
Yoga is both about achieving physical fitness combined with peace of mind. It is something you can at your own pace and suitability. You can easily fit shorter routines in your busy schedule and use them to relieve all the pent up stress gathered over the day. If you found the cobra pose interesting, look through the various other yoga poses and routines, to find perfect ones which focus on the parts of you that you want to work on.
Ultimately, yoga is about discipline and patience. Pushing your body and demanding results from it will get you nowhere. Instead, you must gradually settle into your skin and let it explore its own limits—till one day breaking past them is as easy as breathing.