Published on July 1st, 2015 | by Catherine Tingey0
COBRA POSE (Bhujansana)
Cobra pose is an entry-level backbend posture, as well as a component of the Sun Salutations. Although considered beneficial for the back, in particular the thoracic (upper) spine, it can be aggravating to the lumbar spine if certain micro-movements and muscle engagements are not enforced.
The key thing to remember is this is a whole body posture — the torso. the legs and core all have jobs to do, so resist the urge to crank into the palms to get heighth while sacrificing extension (length), and safety of the low back.
Lay on your stomach, chin to the floor. Extend the legs behind you, all 10 toes on the mat.
Set the palms beside the torso, thumbs near the nipples.
Press the knees and thighs into the floor and on an inhale, gently peel the shoulders off the mat.
Keep the elbows close to the body with very light pressure in the hands.
WORK IN THE POSE
**Tailbone lengthens down towards the feet (this subtle energetic lengthening will also keep the lumbar spine from being excessively compressed, a key component of this posture)
**Engage the thighs so knee caps lift off the ground slightly – this is the second micro-movement that protects the low back
Lift through the crown of the head, relax the shoulders down away from the ears, and allow the neck to grow long
Shoulder blades slide down the back
Spread the collarbones left and right to open the chest
Front ribs draw in as you gently bring the navel to the spine
Energetic internal rotation of the inner thighs by pressing the outer pinkies into the mat
Keep the buttocks firm but not clenched
- Opens the chest
- Lengthens the thoracic spine
- Strengthens the shoulders
- Stretches the abdomen (great counterpose to core-work)
- Sciatica & some types of low-back pain