What Is Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)?
The name Bhujangasana is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Bhujang’ which means snake or serpent, and asana means pose. This is why bhujangasana is also known as Cobra pose as it mirrors the stance of a cobra with a raised hood.
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) has one of those yogic poses which have positive effects on your head to toe. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) is also a part of Surya namaskar or sun salutation, its performed as the 8th pose of sun salutation.
Like the cobra open up his shoulders and neck while stretching chest and spine bhujangasana is also performed is the same way and has numerous benefits on our body, this yogic practice helps in strengthening spine, shoulders, and arms.
Apart from physical benefits it also has internal benefits like improved digestion, healthier reproductive system and is also works on activating the chakras. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) is said to activate four out of seven chakras of the body. We will be discussing the benefits in greater details in the later part of this article let’s start with the variations of this cobra pose.
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) Variations
There are four types of Bhujangasanas (Cobra pose) and you can choose to practice any of them according to your body’s need and capabilities.
Conventional Cobra Pose:
This is the conventional pose that we are talking about since the beginning; it has positive effects on overall body and mind development.
Curved Hand Cobra Pose:
This is a bit simpler variation than conventional cobra pose. This bhujangasana allows you to keep your arms curved instead of straightening them. For someone who is unable to perform straight hand stance shall perform this to enjoy the benefits of this asana. Curved hand mostly focuses on healthier digestion.
Half Cobra Pose:
For those, who are suffering from stiff back or any other back problems and are unable to bend their back to make a perfect curve should perform this pose. It’s most referred to the beginners who are unable to stretch their back. Performing half cobra pose will gradually add flexibility to the practitioner’s spine and he/she will be able to perform conventional cobra pose in future as well.
Rising Hand Cobra Pose:
If you are trying to put more emphasis on your Glutes (buttocks) development then you should perform this variation. Practicing rising hand cobra pose requires you to raise your hands in the air once you attain an arched back.
How To Perform Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
- Lie on stomach with your toes positioned flat on ground
- Keep your legs at the hip distance
- Place your hands under your shoulders with your hands being parallel to your torso
- Take a deep breath and lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your navel close to the ground.
- Pull your torso back with the help of your shoulders.
- Try to give a good stretch to your spine while keeping your head back and looking up.
- Don’t forget to take care of proper breathing
- Now slowly bring your chest and abdomen back to the ground at starting position
- Repeat the pose 4-5 times.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
Leg spacing: People sometimes try to put their legs closer while performing this cobra pose. It should be noted that legs should be placed at the hip distance and try to bring them closer can put extra pressure on the vertebrate.
Wrong hand placement: Hands should be placed at the shoulders distance to maintain the right stance. Putting hands boarder than shoulders width can obstruct you from getting the optimum back arch.
Trying too hard: Common mistake is trying too hard; bhujangasana isn’t about how high you lift yourself. This pose is about obtaining great spinal stretch and spinal extension. If you are making a ‘L’ shape instead of nice arch then you are going beyond the range of motion.
Locking elbows: Locking elbow is not compulsory. People try too hard to lock their elbow but you need to understand that everyone has different flexibility level. If you feel nice stretch in your spine then you should stop extending the range of motion.
Medical problems: Practicing cobra pose has its own limitations as well which need to be taken care of. Person who is suffering from peptic ulcers, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis and serious spine problems should avoid this yogic exercise.
15 Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) Benefits
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) has all the reasons to be in your top yoga list, this single asana is going to have positive effect on your whole body, let’s find out the 15 benefits of Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
1# Boost-up Flexibility:
A Bhujangasana main benefit is to improve the mobility through opening chest and shoulders. It helps in stretching major muscle groups like abdominal, spine, lats, lower back, glutes and hamstrings.
2# Burns Abdominal Fat:
Cobra pose make your abdominal work while you stretch your spine backwards which is helpful in toning and shredding that extra fat. Additionally to this our body’s core (that means your abs and obliques) is developed to stabilize the spine. Stretching your spine while doing bhujangasana, you are actually making your core work.
3# Strengthen Arms & Shoulders:
Holding the bhujangasana for a minute can make your arms and shoulders work tremendously. Additionally this pose will also help in getting into natural posture.
4# Cures Lower Back Stiffness:
Is it required to say that practicing bhujangasana can cure lower back stiffness? This pose is majorly working on making your back stronger and flexible. This pose helps in loosen up the spine and removing impure stagnated blood from your lower back area.
5# Improve Digestive System:
Cobra pose gently help you massage your internal digestive organs which ultimately leads to better digestion and better excretion of body toxins.
6# Stimulates Kidney:
Bhujangasana has proven positive effects on your kidney functioning. This pose compress your kidney to remove stagnated blood thus making it function better.
7# Helpful in Sciatica:
If you are suffering from sciatica then you should better start with performing half cobra pose. This pose helps in adjusting the nerves around spine thus helps in relieving the pain.
8# Stress Buster:
Bhujangasana helps in relieving stress through massaging adrenal gland, an adrenal gland in return send the feel-good hormones to the brain which helps in relieving stress. Additional to this rhythmic breathing process of this yogic pose helps in calming down brain from any external stress as well.
9# Open-up Chest & Better Lung Functioning:
Bhujangasana helps in opening the chest thus make is possible for better lungs functioning. This pose is also helpful form the asthmatic patients.
10# Stronger Spine:
Stronger spine is defined by two criteria: strength and flexibility. Through working on almost ever back muscle this pose is helping in strengthening of spine and through continuous stretching spine you are losing the tension between the vertebrates and improving the blood flow within your whole spine.
11# Cures Gynecological Disorder:
Bhujangasana has also shown many positive effects on curing gynecological disorders by toning the ovary and uterus.
12# Activates Kundalini:
You can call it spiritual benefit or a physical benefit. In ancient Hindu culture “kundalani shakti” is a spiritual power within every human being and one has to activate these kundalani chakras to achieve enlightenment. This asan helps in activating four out of seven chakras.
So whether you believe in spirituality or not, you will be able to experience its effects on your life after practicing this yogic pose constantly.
13# Height Growth:
Bhujangasana helps in relieving the stress from the back and improve its mobility. Performing spine stretching exercises for a long time can be an effective way to add few inches to your height.
14# Better Metabolism:
Your body’s metabolism depends on few variables: your body’s capability to digest food, body’s fat percentage and stress level. Bhujangasana helps in targeting all three variables through a single pose.
15# Effective in Curing Thyroid:
It has proven effects on regulating thyroid gland thus help in maintaining good health.