Friday, January 23, 2009

Bhujangasana - Cobra

A cobra gets its power from its lower body, raising its head to observe and be ready for action. Its upper body is full and flexible.

Note: Start practicing cobra with the chest much closer to the floor than shown in the photo above. If you feel any lower back pain, lower your chest and re- lengthen the low back.

Cobra has many therapeutic values:
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Stretches chest and lungs, abdomen, shoulders and abdomen
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve stress and fatigue
  • Soothes sciatica
Basics of Cobra:
  1. Place feet hip width apart and parallel to each. other. Press the tops of feet firmly into the floor.

  2. Activate legs by hugging shins towards each other without physically moving the legs. This creates strong muscular energy in the legs that set the foundation for cobra.

  3. Lengthen the lower back by inner spiraling the legs (send top of thighs toward the sky) and scooping the tailbone (send tailbone towards feet and lift energy up into the belly) and firming the belly.

  4. Press into the hands and isometrically draw the hands back toward the hips.

  5. Inhale lifting the chest forward and up from the back body keeping the shoulders strongly engaged on the back.

  6. Keep the chest open and full. Use your breath to inflate the ribs expanding the whole diaphram outwards. Feel the breath lift the chest. Shoulders should not be close to the ears.

  7. The bottom of the pelvis is the focal point of cobra. From the pelvis extend back towards the heels and lift up through the chest and the top of the head.

  8. On the inhalation firm the back of the shoulder blades into the back to lift higher.

  9. On the exhalation extend the chest forward.
Embrace the openess of the chest and the integration of the shoulders onto the back in cobra. This is the feeling you want to bring into all your yoga poses. This is the energy you want to use to empower your life.

Short video of cobra

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