Bhujanga (serpent or Cobra) asana (Pose) So, Bhujangasana, is a reclining back bending pose in the hatha yoga in which the doer resembles the hood of a serpent or takes the form of a serpent. Some texts have also called it the Sarpasana. It is also one the eight pose of the Surya namaskars. It strengthens the lower back muscles while cushioning the spine, triceps and opens the chest to promote the inhalations. It also makes the spine flexible and strong
Getting into the asana
Make sure your intestine and stomach are empty when you do this asana.
Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your palms are firmly fixed on the floor. Also, lower body is firmly fixed on the floor.
Slowly as you inhale begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Gradually, with palms taking the body weight, lift your head and trunk off the floor. Pull your torso back with the support of your hands
Slowly arch or tilt your head backwards such that the lifted head looks like the hood of a cobra. Your gaze is directed straight upwards or a little backwards i.e. Oordhva drishti (open sky gaze). Keep your shoulder blades firm and away from the ear.
Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. After some practice you can hold it for half a minute or a minute or more. Release and slowly bring your abdomen, chest and head back to the floor with an exhalation. Slowly put your head on one side to rest.
Repeat the asana for better results.
Don’t overdo the backbend. To find the height at which you can work comfortably and avoid straining your back, take your hands off the floor for a moment, so that the height you find will be through extension. Before you practice this asana, you can also practice Sulabh Bhujangasana for the upper back. In this your elbow/forearms are resting on the floor and you come up only half way up. This gives a gentle stretch to the upper back. This is also referred to as the Sphinx pose
Back injury or Cervical Spondylosis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Don’t overdo the backbend. To find the height at which you can work comfortably and avoid straining your back, take your hands off the floor for a moment, so that the height you find will be through extension.
Strengthens the spine or vertebrae. Helps in reducing fat deposits on the stomach and tones the buttock muscles. It stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen. Firms the buttocks and stimulates abdominal organs and helps in kick starting the metabolism. Helps in relieving stress and fatigue. Helps in soothing sciatica.
Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini. Also, it works on the organs in the lower abdomen, the digestive organs, the urinary and reproductive organs.