Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, holds a wealth of benefits for the whole body.
This backbend can be subtle or dramatic depending on the depth to which you take it, the day you have had, and the general specifics of your body and your practice.
However, no matter how deep your Cobra, this pose will physically influence your frontal and posterior planes from your toes to your chin. It will encourage positive changes in your internal organs, and benefit your emotional well-being, too.
Here are just a few of the holistic benefits of Cobra Pose you can expect if you practice it regularly.
1. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Cobra Pose deeply opens the heart for stress reduction and anxiety relief. Roll your shoulders up, back, and down as you push your chest forward to fully pry the rib cage open in the hold.
2. Ease Asthma
By opening your chest cavity in the above mentioned way, this posture helps open up space for your lungs to expand, making it wonderful for dissipating asthma and allergy symptoms.
Practice deep breathing once you are in the hold to fully expand the diaphragm.
3. Improved Digestion
Stretching the frontal plane of your body encourages the functioning of the abdominal organs, and simultaneously compressing the low back area invigorates the kidneys.
The overall effect is full gastro-intestinal stimulation!
4. Strength and Flexibility
Strengthen your spine, gluteal muscles, thighs, arms and shoulders in just one pose. Cobra Pose also tones your gluteal muscles, providing you with a perky bottom!
When it comes to flexibility, it's important to stretch your belly after doing any core work. Cobra is a simple way to get this done.
5. Reduce Neck and Back Pain
This is especially beneficial for those of us who sit hunched over a desk, steering wheel, or phone all day long. Stretching the muscles in your shoulders, chest, and neck, can relieve tightness in the upper body.
6. Runners and Cyclists
Prevent injuries in tight hip flexors by using Cobra Pose to stretch out the front of your hips. Cobra Pose reduces the risk of injury by maintaining suppleness in the area most used.
Your body will re-cooperate more quickly after a long ride or run if you have increased flexibility and blood circulation in this area.
7. Soothe Sciatic Pain
A shooting pain down your leg often comes from an impingement of the sciatic nerve. This could be in your spine or in the muscles surrounding the sacrum and hip area. Either way, the solution is increased flexibility and safe spinal stretching to release tension in the soft tissues.
Alternating a low Cobra Pose (elbows deeply bent to soften any spinal impingement) with an engaged Child's Pose (fingers stretching out in front of you and hips sinking back heavily), will help stretch this area out, and possibly relieve some discomfort in the moment.
Listening to what your body needs is key in any advancing yoga practice. The more you pay attention to the depth your body wants to take in that specific moment, the more benefits you stand to gain from your Cobra Pose.
Why do you love Cobra Pose? Share with us below!