Bhujangasana is a part of the Surya Namaskar. It is the seventh pose of the 12 poses of sun salutation. It is follwed by Ashtanga Namaskar and Parvatasana is its next step. In Sanskrit, Bhujangasana is a combination of two words, ‘Bhujanga’ which means cobra, and ‘asana’ which means posture. That’s why asana is called cobra pose. In this yoga we have to bend our back like a cobra’s hood. It has two types, Baby Cobra and Full Cobra. During this asana if our arms are bent, then it is called Baby Cobra. If we straighten our arms during this, it is called Full Cobra. So with a regular practice we should visualize ourselves as a cobra, its sound of breathe should be in mind and the feel of cobra should be experienced throughout the body. But people should not hurry to get the perfect posture, as it can be harmful.
- To do this asana we have to lie down on stomach.
- The hands are to be placed on the side and the toes should touch each other.
- Then the hands should be moved to the front and they should stay at the shoulder level.
- The elbows should be bend straight back and palms are to be placed on the floor. The body weight would be placed on the palms thus.
- At this moment we have to look straight at the floor with neck. Then the neck will be arched and we have to look upward.
- After that we have to inhale and lift chest off the floor. In this pose if we think about cobra the posture will be perfect with raising head, trunk and firm shoulders.
- The stomach, hips, thighs and feet should be on the floor.
- The toes have to be pressed onto the floor firmly.
- We should hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds and breath normally.
- At the end the hands should be brought back to the sides. Then exhale and Put the head on the floor gently. Now we can relax placing the hands under head and breathe freely.
Precautions during performance
To perform this asana, just like others, one needs to take some precautions. The steps which are to be followed for this posture has to be perfect. But any mistake in body position may cause harm.
- Stomach position: stomach should be down on the floor during practice of this posture. The back muscles should be used to lift the chest up, not the arms and legs.
- Lower back position: We should not lift the chest up too much, as it can give strain to our lower back. There is no need of extra height. We can stay low and only a few inches high from the floor.
- Palms position: At the beginning the palms should be kept under shoulders. But they must be not very far away from the body.
- Elbow position: The arms should not be straightened. We should bend the elbows and pull them in close to the body. The result of a mistake here would jam the shoulders.
- Neck position: This asana demands a cobra look with raising hood. So the neck position is very important. Here our neck extends the spine. But we have to avoid throwing the head backwards to give length to the spine. We should keep the neck at a comfortable position and look at front.
Duration of Bhujangasana
We can hold it for 15 to 30 seconds from beginning. It will give better results. After that we can release the posture and relax. With regular practice we can hold the posture about 2 minutes.
Time for practice
Early morning is the preferable time to practice any asana. We can also practice it in the evening, ensuring an empty stomach and intestine.
- This asana has a great effect on abdominal portion. It helps in proper digestion of food and thus increases our appetite also.
- If people practice this yoga regularly it will be effective in getting proper liver and urinary functioning. It stimulates reproductive organs as well.
- The spines will be stronger by practicing this regularly.
- As we bend our back, it opens up the lungs and heart. This is good for asthma patients.
- This asana helps in regulating our metabolism.
- It has a role in curing menstruation disorders too.
- This yoga gives us a toned body with firm buttocks.
- The cobra posture removes excess fat from belly area and helps one reduce total body weight.
- This asana improves blood circulation throughout the chest and abdomens.
- Like many yogas, it also helps in stress releasing. It raises our energy levels too.
Who Should Not Do This:
People who are suffering from severe back pain or neck problems like spondylitis or having severe asthma should not practice this yoga. If one has injury in arms or palms this yoga should be avoided. People who has headaches, hernia or abdomen surgery should not do this. During Pregnancy and when menstruating, women are not allowed to practice this. We should also take care before practicing it if there is any stomach disorder like ulcer.
Urdhwa Mukha Swanasana, Setu Bandhasana, Sarvangasana are the preparatory asanas for the cobra pose. After cobra pose people can practice dhanurasana, Ushtrasana, Chakrasana as in these postures also back sides are needed to be bent. Bhek Bhujangasana is the advanced pose of it. This asana has a great impact on four of the seven chakras of our body which are- Swadhisthana or the Sacrel Chakra; Manipura or the Navel Chakra; Anahata or the Heart Chakra and Visuddha or the Throat Chakra.