Uta’s Insights: Yoga Pose of the Week — 9. Cobra Pose
Cobra Pose — Bhujangasana
In Bhujangasana the spine receives a powerful backward stretch, and the surrounding muscles are strengthened.
The Cobra pose promotes a more erect posture, which is not just important for runners, but also for everyone who is active in many other sports. Practicing this asana after a long day in front of the computer will help you to straighten your shoulders and open your chest, and is most effectively done when combined with deep breathing exercises [pranayama].
This asana has a wonderful energizing effect, and tones up and massages the abdominal organs.
I enjoy practicing the Cobra in conjunction with the Downward Facing Dog pose.
How to practice the Cobra pose:
- Lie on your belly. Place your hands close to your body on either side of the torso, at nipple height. The body is long, and the feet are together, with the tops of the feet pressing down on the mat.
- Tuck the tailbone under so the pubic bone presses to the floor. Inhale and slowly lift the chest upward, using very little pressure on your hands. Your shoulders stay soft and moving down the back so the neck remains long.
- To deepen the pose, increase the pressure on your hands gently. Pull the chest up and forward through the arms, continuing to curl the spine up off the floor so the arch in the back deepens. Please be careful with this move: nothing should hurt! The neck stays long as you gently gaze upwards.
- Finally, exhale and slowly roll down, ending with your forehead on the mat. Stay in this position for a while to rest.
Next week we will continue with one of my favorite advanced yoga poses: the Pigeon pose.
I hope you are enjoying practicing your yoga program and feeling that it might become a wonderful addition to your fitness routine.