If you are looking to improve your fitness program, start with Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose. The name “Cobra Pose” is derived from the Sanskrit words bhujanga meaning “snake/cobra,” and asana, which means “posture/exercise. But what are Bhujangasana and its benefits?
Bhujangasana or Cobra pose is a basic Hatha yoga pose. It is often performed either on its own or as a part of the sequence of yoga postures in Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and Padma Sadhana. Bhujangasana holds integrated benefits for the body, mind, and soul.
There are many things you should know about Bhujangasana and its benefits. Read on to find out what is Bhujangasana and its benefits.
See also: 7 Useful Yoga Props and How to Use Them.
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What is Bhujangasana also known as?
Bhujangasana, commonly known as Cobra Pose, is a Hatha yoga resting back-bending asana that strengthens the spinal cord while also extending the shoulder, belly, chest, and lungs. As an alternative to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, it is usually performed in a Surya Namaskar cycle of asanas. ‘Sarapa Aasan’ is another name for it. While performing this yoga pose, your body is in a snake-like posture.
See also: Can You Practice Too Much Yoga?
How to perform Bhujangasana?
- Lie down on your stomach on the floor. Placing your hands face down on the ground just behind your shoulders is a good place to start.
- Straighten your elbows and hug them against your sides.
- Pause for a second with your neck in a neutral posture, staring straight down at your mat. Your pubic bone should be anchored to the floor.
- Lift your chest off the floor with an inhale.
- Maintain your lower spine on the ground and raise your shoulders back.
- Ensure that your elbows are still hugging your sides. Allowing them to fly out to either side is not a good idea.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position; don’t raise it. Your eyes should be fixed on the ground.
- Hold the posture for 30 to 45 seconds, breathing normally. With an exhale, return to the floor.
Watch the video below for step by steps on how to perform Bhujangasana properly.
7 Benefits of Bhujangasana
Bhujangasana is one of the most beneficial yoga positions, as it offers tremendous benefits. Here are the 7 major benefits of Bhujangasana.
1- It Helps Manage Stress
Here’s some good news if you’re suffering from anxiety or sadness. Practice bhujangasana is effective in alleviating stress-related symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, and weakness.
Bhujangasana is known to profoundly affect the rise of “feeling of upliftment and elation .” It can act as a natural antidepressant because it promotes and increases energy levels, resulting in chasing away fatigue, depression, and sadness.
Additionally, it is useful in the treatment of depression to some extent. However, if you get migraines or sleeplessness, seek professional help.
2- Bhujangasana May Help Decrease Symptoms of Depression
Several studies suggest that, in general, a sustained or long-term yoga practice contributes to improvements in depressive symptoms.
Another study found that an 8-week hatha yoga practice resulted in statistically and clinically significant reductions in depression severity in adults with mild-to-moderate major depression.
However, if you are feeling symptoms of depression, the first step is to discuss it with your family physician or psychiatrist.
3- Cobra Pose Reduces Belly Fat
Even though we pretend to practice yoga for a perfect life, all beauty aficionados covertly adore yoga’s benefits. In yoga, the snake position is regarded as one of the most effective asanas for achieving a flat tummy.
Because the abdominal muscles are stretched in Bhujangasana, the advantages extend to your attractiveness.
4- Cobra Pose Improves Blood Circulation
Staying energetic and active requires a good blood supply. Bhujangasana has several advantages, one of which is that posture improves blood circulation.
Your body’s cells will receive adequate nourishment and oxygen if you have excellent blood circulation. Improved blood circulation will also aid in the maintenance of hormonal equilibrium.
5- May Develop Self-Esteem
Even though most people practice yoga to help reduce anxiety and stress. A few studies also reveal significant improvement in yoga practitioners’ self-esteem.
Another small 2019 study observed significant self-esteem improvement in school-age children after practicing yoga daily for 4.5 months.
A small 2020 study suggested that yoga can benefit today’s adolescents, which is excellent news since adolescents are experiencing higher levels of depression and loneliness due to increased use of social media, affecting their self-esteem.
6- It Strengthens Your Spine and Improves Posture
The snake position in yoga is beneficial in stretching your backbone since it helps to provide a healthy extension to your back. It is meant to stretch both your lower and upper back.
However, if you have persistent back pain, you should contact a doctor to ensure there are no contraindications.
In addition, regularly practicing spinal extension exercises, such as Cobra Pose, can help you improve your posture.
7- May Help You Improve Your Sleep
Constant practice of Bhujangasana can help you improve your sleep. Studies found that people experienced improved sleep quality after yoga, mainly when they practiced Cobra Pose daily.
Yoga exercise is more effective in improving sleep quality than aerobic exercise in women who have diabetes Type 2, according to a study.
Quality of life in menopausal women was significantly improved after 18 weeks of yoga practice, found another research.
According to the research, women who regularly practice yoga can enjoy menopause and experience a high quality of life.
There are many benefits of the cobra pose, but it also poses a danger for some people and has quite many contraindications that can stop you from performing Bhujangasana.
Now let’s discuss Bhujangasana precautions and what are the contraindications of Bhujangasana?
Precautions of Bhujangasana
- Arc your spine as far as you can without exerting any force. Some people are naturally agile, while others are not, and many of us have pretty tight muscles.
- Never be in a hurry! Allow your body to develop the strength and flexibility it requires.
- Take very little assistance from your arms and instead rely on your back muscles to maintain the weight of your upper body in the posture. This is how your spine will strengthen.
- If you have hyperthyroidism, a hernia, a peptic ulcer, or intestinal TB, practice this asana under the supervision of an instructor.
- If you’re a newbie, don’t attempt the position all at once. Break it up by rising to a good height for your back and legs. You may extend your spinal column by releasing your hands off the floor for a few minutes. Once you’ve mastered this basic posture, you may gradually work your way up to a beautiful back curve.
- When practicing bhujangasana, it’s important to keep in mind that you should activate your abdominal muscles. Make sure your spine is solid and your yoga mat’s pressure supports your legs.
- When learning how to execute a cobra stretch, imagine your legs like a snake’s tail. This will assist you in achieving proper form and lowering your chance of injury.
- Another bhujangasana tip to remember is to release the posture when you’re finished carefully. When ascending and descending, take it slowly. Remember that the goal is to relax and revitalize you while also opening up your back and chest muscles.
Contraindications of cobra pose
You shouldn’t practice bhujangasana if you are:
- Pregnant women should avoid this position since it puts pressure on the abdomen and might damage the fetus.
- Medical Conditions – such as stomach ulcers, hernias, and so on
- In Rehab for a Spinal Injury or Trauma – You should refrain from practicing this posture if you’ve recently had any spinal surgery or if you’re recuperating from an existing injury. It’s because, if done incorrectly, it can put a strain on your back by pulling the muscles and aggravating your problems.
Does Cobra Pose Affect Your Height?
When you initially begin practicing Bhujangasana, you will see a gain in the height of a few inches. This is because it will correct your posture and reduce rounded shoulders, both of which contribute to slouching and making you appear small.
Overall, we discussed Bhujangasana and its benefits. We found that Cobra Pose has many benefits for both our body and the mind.
To be safe, always discuss with your doctor and practice under the supervision of a professional yoga practitioner if you have any medical issues.