Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 14 of 20

Cobra
Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana
Bhujanga = snake, cobra

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Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 14: Cobra

Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana
Bhujanga = snake, cobra

Benefits:

  • Expands and opens the chest, throat and abdomen
  • Increases strength and flexibility of the spine, arms and back
  • Releases tension in the back, shoulders and neck
  • Improves breathing patterns and lung capacity
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Improves spinal alignment and range of motion
  • Stimulates the thyroid, adrenals and kidneys
  • Improves the systems of digestion, elimination and reproduction
  • Safe preparatory pose for deeper backbends

Points:

  • Legs active
  • Gently press the tops of the feet down
  • Scoop the tailbone towards the heels and away from the head
  • Shoulders down and away from the ears
  • Keep elbows in by the ribs
  • Look forward or if it is okay for the neck lengthen the neck and look up

Modification:

  • In the beginning this pose can be practiced on forearms with the elbows under the shoulders; draw the arms and shoulders back as you extend the chest forward

Child Pose

Sanskrit Name: Balasana
Bala = child

Benefits

  • A great resting, relaxing, restorative pose; releases tension from the whole body
  • Counter-pose for backbends
  • A gentle yet effective stretch for the spine, especially the lower back
  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Refreshes the legs
  • A centering and grounding pose; helps keep an inward focus
  • Quiets the mind and calms the nervous system

Modification:

  • Traditionally this is done with the thighs together and the arms overhead or back by the feet however this can also be done by keeping the big toes together and widening the knees apart to make space for the belly and the breath
  • Another variation is to keep the big toes together, widen the knees apart, bring the arms in between the legs and turn the head to one side
  • Depending ones shape and flexibility you could also stay up on the forearms and rest the head on a block.
  • Feel free to intuitively make adjustments and modify the pose so that it is a resting pose for you and it does gently stretch the back

2 thoughts on “Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 14 of 20”

    1. The tailbone is the very bottom part of the spinal column also known as the coccyx. It is the last 3-5 vertebrae below the sacrum. When I say “scoop the tailbone” I mean rotate your whole pelvic bowl, so that you move the back part (from the back of your waistline to the tip of the coccyx) down towards your heels… as you do this the front of your pelvic bowl (from the pubic bone to the navel) will move up towards your chin. This is also known as “cat tilt.” It is a movement that is done in all back bends as it protects and supports the lower back in these types of movements. I hope that helps.

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