Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

5 Keys to Healthy Neck Alignment in Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

By: 

Tracy Weber, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

When practiced appropriately, Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) and all of its fantastic yoga pose variations can be an important yogic exercise for creating and maintaining back and neck health.

If you practice it incorrectly, however, you can create the very neck issues you’re trying to prevent.

Five Ways You Can Protect Your Neck in Cobra Pose

1. Lead with your collarbones, not with your chin.
The origin of motion (the place where the movement starts) should be your low back, not your neck. The photos below show a Yogi leading with her chin, and another practicing correctly. Most students find the right motion if I tell them to imagine they’re leading with their collarbones.

(Correct form above photo) 

(Student above incorrectly leading with her chin) 

2. Extend out through the crown of your head as you lift. 
Extending through the spine (called axial extension) increases the space between your vertebrae and prevents that pinching sensation at the base of your neck. It also engages and strengthens neck muscles in a more effective way.

3. Turn your head as you lower, not as you lift. 
As you lift up into Cobra Pose, your eyes should point toward your mat, not toward the ceiling, and certainly not to either side of the room. Turn your head only after you have started lowering back to the floor. The photo below shows a person practicing with her head in the incorrect position.

4. Don’t lift your chin, or if you do, lift it at the very end of your inhale, after you have fully extended your spine. 
Most yogis would be best served if they kept their neck in a neutral position. Experienced yogis can lift the chin a little to stretch the throat, but only at the very end of the movement into Cobra Pose.

5. On the other hand, don’t overly tuck your chin, either. 
Students often interpret “don’t lift your chin” as “squash your chin to the pit of your throat.

” Keeping the chin in a tucked position places extra strain on the very muscles you’re trying to protect. You should be able to hold an object about the size of a Granny Smith apple between your chin and your throat.

 The student below is holding her chin in an inappropriate position.

Aligning your head and neck in healthy, neutral position in Cobra Pose not only prevents neck pain; it also helps us bridge the mind-body connection. Here’s a post that explains the importance of head position awareness in yoga and how to know if your head is in a neutral position.

Study Neck Health with YogaUOnline and Doug Keller – The Wisdom of Jalandhara Bandhi: Neck Health and Why it Matters

This article originally appeared on wholelifeyoga.com  Reprinted with permission.

Tracy Weber, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT is the owner of Whole Life Yoga in Seattle as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. A practicing yoga therapist, she is also the author of the Downward Dog Mystery series, which won the Maxwell award for fiction. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible.

Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their crazy new German shepherd pup, Ana. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, trying to corral Ana, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house. 

For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/.

Source: https://yogauonline.com/yogau-wellness-blog/yoga-practice-tips-cobra-pose-5-ways-prevent-pain-neck

The Cobra Pose

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

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“I enjoy practicing the Cobra Pose first thing in the morning in conjunction with my breathing exercises to help open my chest and lungs. Sitting at a computer tends to contract the front of the torso; this pose reverses that effect.” – Andrew Weil, M.D.

Description & History
The Cobra Pose is a basic pose used to strengthen the spine and buttocks as well as stretch the chest, shoulders, and abdomen.

The Sanskrit name of the Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana, comes from the words bhujanga, meaning serpent, and asana, meaning posture. Strength and flexibility are important components of a healthy back.

By using the Cobra Pose in conjunction with other back-related yoga poses, a practitioner can develop the ability to maintain correct body posture and improve back strength.

How to Perform the Cobra Pose

  • Begin in prone position on the floor with legs together and feet pointed. Place hands under shoulders and squeeze your elbows against the body. Firmly press the tops of your feet, legs, and hips to the floor, maintaining this connection throughout the pose.
  • On an inhalation, first use your back muscles to lift your chest off of the floor keeping the neck relaxed and drawing shoulder blades and elbows back; then straightening the arms, continue to lift the chest as the face begins to look up. Go to a comfortable height that you are capable of maintaining without pain. Press your tailbone toward the floor and lift the abdomen muscles toward the spine.
  • Relax the shoulder blades by keeping them down, avoiding adding unneeded tension to the back and shoulders. Find a spot about 45 degrees in front and above that you can focus on as long as it is pain-free.
  • Hold the Cobra Pose for 15 to 30 seconds and maintain even breathing.
  • To release, exhale and drop your head to the floor and lower your body by using your arms. Repeat the Cobra Pose twice more.

Watch a video demonstration of the Cobra Pose.

Potential Health Benefits

  • Alleviates sciatica and low back pain
  • Opens the chest, allowing for deeper breathing
  • Strengthens abdominal muscles and buttocks
  • Stimulates digestion and helps relieve constipation
  • Traditional yoga texts say Cobra Pose increases body heat and destroys disease

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Education and Practice looked at the effects of the Cobra Pose along with other yoga poses that focus on the back muscles. After the three-month study concluded, researchers found that performing yoga poses that focus on the back, including the Cobra Pose, led to significant improvements in overall back strength.

Modifications & Variations
It is important to remember not to overdo the backbend during the Cobra Pose. Beginners should find a height that is comfortable and does not put excessive strain on the back.

If you are stiff and do not feel comfortable with performing this pose on the floor, you can modify the pose. Start by placing a metal folding chair against a wall with the seat facing out. Place your hands on the edge of the seat and stand on the balls of your feet.

Go through the same motions as you would with the Cobra Pose on the floor.

For an advanced version of the Cobra Pose, start the same as you would with the normal pose, but instead of using the arms to lift the upper body, contract the buttocks and lower back.

This modified movement will limit the height at which your upper body will lift.

As this is an advanced version of the Cobra Pose, it is important to know your limits and pay attention to any uncomfortable feelings associated with the pose.

Precautions
Pregnant women should refrain from performing this pose, as should individuals with active ulcers, abdominal pain and hernias.

For those with neck tension or injury, do not lift the head to a level that causes discomfort. And those with back pain or injury should bend the spine only to a degree that is comfortable, keeping the elbows bent if needed.

Keep the spine rounded while performing the Cobra pose and avoid bending at the hips to achieve the pose.

Related Poses

  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  • Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
  • Sphinx Pose

Reviewed by: James Nicolai, M.D., on May 20, 2013

Sources
Bhowmik, Sanjib Kumar, Avjeet Mondal, Shrikrishna Patel, and Upendra Pandey. “Effect of Various Yogic Intervention Strategies on Back Strength of Homemakers.” Journal of Education and Practice 3, no. 14 (2012): 49-58.

Source: https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/exercise-fitness/cobra-pose/

Get in Touch With Your Back for a Better Cobra Pose

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain
Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Targets: Back

Level: Beginner

Cobra is most often done as part of a Sun Salutation. It's the alternative to Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana) in the Vinyasa sequence for beginners. But it is also a powerful backbend in its own right, so it's worth taking some time to work on this pose in isolation.

Cobra done with the arms bent is sometimes called Baby Cobra. If you straighten your arms, that's Full Cobra, but don't be in a hurry to graduate to this. It is a deeper backbend, but it also depends more on the arms for support instead of the working to strengthen the back muscles.

Cobra Pose increases the mobility of the spine, strengthens spinal support muscles, and can help relieve back pain. It opens the chest and the front of the body.

If you're in the middle of a Sun Salutation, you'll be coming into Cobra from Knees, Chest, and Chin. If not, you can begin by lying down flat on your stomach.

  1. Place your palms flat on the ground directly under your shoulders. Bend your elbows straight back and hug them into your sides.
  2. Pause for a moment looking straight down at your mat with your neck in a neutral position. Anchor your pubic bone to the floor.
  3. Inhale to lift your chest off the floor. Roll your shoulders back and keep your low ribs on the floor. Make sure your elbows continue hugging your sides. Don't let them wing out to either side.
  4. Keep your neck neutral. Don’t crank it up. Your gaze should stay on the floor.

Exhale to release back to the floor (or push back to Downward Facing Dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana, if you are doing a Sun Salutation).

Keeping your shoulders down is important. If your hands are too far away from your body, the resulting angle will bring your shoulders up. Locking your elbows will also do this. Instead, be sure your elbows are unlocked, or even slightly bent, and pointed backward and not out to your sides. This is a move that relies on your back muscles, not your arm muscles.

The lower back is often more flexible than the upper back, so you might end up with more flex in that area. Aim to keep the curve even for the whole back.

Don't overextend your neck backward. While it will be arched, it should be in a natural extension of the upper spine.

You can use variations and modifications to make this pose more appropriate for you, whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner.

Strongly engaging the legs and pressing them down will help you bring your chest higher.

If you feel you've never really understood how to lift your chest higher in this pose, here's a little exercise to help you get in touch with your back muscles:

  1. Make sure that your pelvis and legs are firmly rooted into the floor. They act as the anchor that allows your upper body to rise.
  2. Come in and the pose three times, lifting the chest up on every inhale and lowering it back to the floor on every exhale. As you go through this undulation, see if you can lift up a little high each time you inhale.

Do this exercise regularly as part of your home practice and see how your relationship to Cobra changes over time.

Keeping the chest high, take all the weight your hands until you can hover the palms above the floor.

You can also try keeping the palms on the floor and straightening the arms for a more intense backbend. Make sure that you keep your shoulders down away from your ears as you do this. It's OK to keep a slight bend in your arms in the full pose.

Cobra Pose should not be done if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or an injury to your back, arms, or shoulders. Also, avoid it if you recently had abdominal surgery or are pregnant.

If you feel any strain on your lower back, relax the pose to lower yourself a bit, or release down to rest on your forearms.

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

Thanks for your feedback!

What are your concerns?

Source: https://www.verywellfit.com/cobra-pose-bhujangasana-3567067

Cobra Pose

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

Cobra is one of the best spine and core strengthening postures in yoga. It’s an essential backbend that helps address the underlying causes of back pain and poor posture. It also builds endurance in your hips and thigh, core, and back muscles.

This is one pose that everyone (unless you have a back injury or are still recovering from back injury) should do on a regular basis to maintain a strong, healthy spine. It’s especially important for those that spend time on their phones, at a desk, or otherwise sitting, because it helps to counter the negative effects sitting has on our bodies.

People currently experiencing back pain from injury or surgery

  • Although this helps the underlying causes of back pain, it might be uncomfortable or painful if you are currently experiencing back pain.
  • However, if you are inactive or avoiding exercise and experiencing dull or achy back pain, you SHOULD be doing cobra. That pain is a good sign of muscle weakness, which can cause discomfort or pain.
  • Focus on the proper muscle engagement and avoid arching too high off the ground at first. Make sure it’s comfortable before increasing the depth of the pose.

People with a sore lower-back from exercise

There’s no reason for you not to do cobra, but you should avoid pushing yourself in cobra if your lower-back muscles are already sore from other exercise. It’s good to engage these muscles because that helps with the recovery process, but you don’t want to do too much to prevent the already-broken down muscle cells from regenerating.

  1. Lie on your stomach, and place your hands under your shoulders with your elbows pointing straight back, close to your sides. Spread your fingers wide and relax palms under your shoulders.
  2. Engage and rotate thighs inward so kneecaps point straight down and all toes are touching the floor. Squeeze your big toes, ankles, knees, and inner thighs toward each other.
  3. Press your pelvis and tops of feet into the floor. Inhale as you use your core (not arms) to lengthen spine forward and slightly lift your chest away from the floor. Press the crown of your head away from shoulders to look forward.
  4. Pull shoulder blades down and toward each other, squeeze elbows to sides, and use your hands to pull (not push) your body forward and up.
  5. Hold the posture, inhaling as you lift slightly higher, and exhaling as you increase engagement and maintain height.

Can’t get your chest off the ground? Try “Baby” Cobra.

If you have trouble lifting your torso away from the ground, don’t worry about lifting off. Instead, focus on involving the necessary muscle groups. Make sure you feel your core, hips, and back muscles engaging first, instead of just trying to lift as high away from the ground as you can.

Belly in the way? Try bridge instead.

If you have a belly, this may be uncomfortable for you. If you have significant issues resting flat on the ground in a prone position on your chest, then I would recommend doing a bridge pose instead.

Bridge (Easier)

Full Locust (More Difficult)

Updog (Most Difficult)

What should you be feeling?

  • Engagement in the core
  • Engagement in mid- and upper-back, between shoulder blades
  • Engagement in thighs and hips
  • Tops of feet pressing into the ground
  • Glutes should be relaxed

What you shouldn’t feel.

  • Spine (including neck) pain
  • Knees relaxed on the ground (Make sure thighs are engaged so knees are lifted)
  • Shouldn’t feel your chest or arms working to press you up. This is a lift.
  • Not using your core.Use your core. Lengthen your tailbone and press your toes firmly into the ground.
  • Not squeezing your legs together.Squeeze your legs together; toes, ankles, knees, thighs, and hips.
  • Not lifting your knees off the ground. Make sure your thighs are tensed and your knees up!
  • Improper foot placement.Press the tops of your toes into the ground and squeeze your big toes together.
  • Using your upper body to push up instead of lifting with your core. Not maintaining length in your spine.

What if I feel pinching in my lower back when I do cobra?

Pinching in your lower-back is a good sign that you’re either lifting too high too quickly, or not using your core enough. Make sure you’re pressing the tops of your feet into the ground and using your abs.

What if I get cramps in my feet or hamstrings when I do cobra?

This is normal if you’re not used to doing yoga, or if you’re dehydrated. Your body should adjust after a few weeks, but you can also take a Magnesium supplement to help. Click here for the the one I use..

I feel my neck is cramped or pinching during cobra. Is this normal?

You should feel the muscles in the back of your head (your upper traps) engaging, but you shouldn’t feel pinching or pain. Make sure your neck is nice and long by pressing the top of your head away from your shoulders, and then slowly increasing the arch in your neck.

Want to see more info this? These photos and sections are taken from Yoga Fitness for Men, published in May 2018 by DK Publishers, and written by Dean Pohlman (that’s me), the founder of Man Flow Yoga.

Click here to get your copy now!

Source: https://manflowyoga.com/blog/cobra-pose/

The Best Yoga Poses for Every Type of Back Pain

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

Your sore back isn’t alone in the world. Back pain is ubiquitous: about 80 percent of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, and it’s the leading cause of job-related disability. Luckily, for sore backs, there’s yoga. Here, we've listed out a couple of poses for upper, middle, and lower back pain — but no one's stopping you from trying all of them.

(Reminder to check with your doctor to check if these poses are right for you.)

Yoga Poses for Upper Back Pain

Much of your back pain may be caused by poor posture — your upper back is no exception. When you're looking for poses that will help relieve your upper back, find those that talk about opening up the shoulders. The following poses will help you do just that. 

Cat-Cow Pose

  •  Start on your hands and knees. Make sure your shoulders are over your wrists and your hips are over your knees.
  1. Inhale and arch your back, tipping your tailbone up to the sky and gently pushing your belly down to the floor.

    Squeeze your shoulders together and elongate your neck.

  2. Come back to center and move into cat pose: round your spine to the sky, tuck your chin to your chest, and stretch through your mid and upper back.

  3. Continue to flow in and these two poses for as long as feels good. 

Double V Pose

  •  In this pose, you’ll be crossing your arms underneath you while you lie on your belly. To start, place a block at the top of your mat.
  1. Lying on your belly, prop yourself up and cross your right arm underneath your collarbone so your fingers are pointing to the left side of the mat.
  2. Cross your left arm under your collarbone so that your fingers are pointing to the right of the mat. At this point, both forearms should be crossed beneath your chest.
  3. Walk your fingers as far as they can go to bring your chest as close to the ground as possible, and rest your head on your block. Breathe.
  4. Once you're ready, switch the top arm out so they both get a stretch.

Yoga Poses for Mid Back Pain

Many of the poses meant to relieve mid back pain will talk about strengthening the spine. For the mid back, strengthening the muscles around the spine will help keep everything steady, making it more resistant to pulls or tweaks. These two poses should help you get a stronger back. 

Puppy Pose

  •  Think downward dog, but modified. Begin in table top, with wrists and shoulders in line and knees and hips in line.
  1. Walk your hands towards the top of your mat, elongating the spine, pulling your chest down, and bringing your forehead to the floor to rest. Your hips should still be stacked on top of your knees.
  2. Breathe.

Cobra Pose

  •  Start in downward dog. Bring your hips down and body forward into a plank pose.
  1. Lower yourself to the ground, keeping your elbows tucked.
  2. Gently push up through the floor, keeping your hips down, opening your chest and keeping the back of your neck long. Roll your shoulders back and down as you lift your chest as high as it will go.

    Try to straighten your arms fully.

  3. Breathe.

Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

Pain at the seat of your spine is ly also related to tight ligaments and muscles in your hips and legs. The following two poses target the lower back, but they also stretch key parts of your lower body, including your hamstrings and hips, to help release tension at the base of your spine. 

Wide Leg Forward Fold

  •  Start with your legs wide apart (the wider you have them, the easier the pose).
  1. Begin to fold forward from the hips, keeping the spine straight. Keep your hands on your hips to steady the fold.
  2. Place your palms on the mat, inhale and lift your body up halfway, and exhale into the fold, putting your palms back onto the mat and folding into your elbows, bending them as necessary. If you’re flexible, move your palms to be right between your legs, resting the top of your head on your mat.
  3. Inhale up, exhale down for a few counts. When you’re done, fold back up, keeping your spine straight.

Half Butterfly Seated Pose

  •  Start in a seated pose, legs crisscrossed in front of you.
  1. Extend your left leg out straight in front of you and bring your right foot to your left leg’s inner thigh.
  2. Turn your torso and upper body toward your left leg.
  3. Inhale, bringing your arms above your head, and exhale and fold into your left leg, letting gravity do most of the work. Allow your chin to fold into your chest (but if this is uncomfortable for you at any point, bring your neck to neutral).
  4. Breathe.

Want more tips on recovery and relief? Our personal trainers are well-versed in how to keep your body safe during and after workouts. Come in and meet someone today!

Source: https://www.jerseystrong.com/blog/best-yoga-poses-back-pain-lower-upper

Practice Safe Stretch in Cobra

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

A rock climber scaling the side of a mountain peak finds the courage to reach for the next handhold from knowing she's safely tethered to her guide rope. It's the same with yoga. You can dare to explore challenging poses if you know how to safely enter and come back a pose whenever you want.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) is an invigorating backbend that can feel an exciting journey. But if you tend to create most of the bend in your lower back, it can cause compression and pain, and excitement is quickly replaced by fear.

Since the lower spine is naturally more flexible than the upper spine, it's easy to overdo the arch there. Ideally, you work toward an even bend along the whole spine, including your neck.

It helps if you learn to work carefully, making conscious choices each step of the way.

Thanks for watching!

To create an even, pain-free Cobra Pose, learn to engage your abdominals in the pose—they act as the guide rope that keeps you safe. The abdominals can support and protect your lower back while you reach for more opening in the upper back.

Once your lower back is stable, you can focus on contracting your upper-back muscles and pressing your shoulder blades into your back to create space in the spine and open your chest.

As long as you feel supported, you can keep going deeper, continuing to press your upper spine in toward the front of your chest and coiling— a snake—into a big, healthy backbend.

Thanks for watching!Thanks for watching!

When you've found your ideal alignment in Cobra, you can use it to strengthen the upper back and the backs of the legs and to stretch your chest and shoulders.

The backbending action is powered by the muscles of the back of the body.

But the pose is also a powerful way to tone the abdominal muscles: They get stretched as you move into the backbend and contracted as you control the movement and return to your starting point.

Cobra will invigorate you energetically as well. It stretches the intercostal muscles (the ones between the ribs), which allows your rib cage to expand and thus can increase your breathing capacity.

It's also thought to gently squeeze the adrenal glands, giving you a feeling of alertness and vigor.

When you have finished practicing Cobra, you'll want to balance your energy by practicing Balasana (Child's Pose) or Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) for several breaths until you feel calm again.

Bhujanga, the Sanskrit word for “snake,” is derived from the root bhuj, which means “to bend or curve.

” The king cobra, revered in Indian myths, can glide forward while lifting the upper third of its body upright. Try to emulate this animal's powerful yet fluid motion when you practice.

Imagine your legs as the snake's tail, reaching long behind you as you curve your spine to lift your chest majestically.

Set It Up:

1. Lie on your belly.

2. Come onto your forearms, with your elbows directly under your shoulders and parallel to each other.

3. Stretch your legs straight back, about hip-width apart.

4. Spread your toes wide and press the tops of your feet into your mat.

5. Firm your legs, and roll your inner thighs up, your outer thighs down. Press your tailbone toward your feet, lengthening your lower back.

6. Press down into your forearms to lift your chest up.

Refine: Continue to push down firmly into your forearms while also pulling back against the resistance of the sticky mat. Though they won't move, work your forearms as if you were dragging them backward.

Reach your chest forward. As you do this, keep reaching your tailbone back, creating traction between the weight of your hips pulling back and the strength of your arms.

Let this elongate the sides of your waist as you reach your chest farther forward.

To protect your lower back, lift your navel, engaging your abdominals, almost as if you were rounding your lower back. It won't actually round, but your lower spine will move into a more neutral position. Focus on these two actions at once: Open the upper back into a backbend as you engage your belly to support the lower back. This will help you find greater opening in the upper back.

Finish: Take several breaths here, noticing everything you are feeling. When you're ready, release all the way down to the floor. Relax and breathe into your back.

Adjust Yourself: Tips for a Pain-Free Cobra

  • Make Space First: Your upper back is harder to bend than your lower back. To open it, lengthen your spine, which makes more space between the vertebrae.
  • Release Tight Muscles: Instead of squeezing your buttocks, which can compress the lower back, relax them. Roll your inner thighs up to lengthen your tailbone back.
  • Exit With Care: Come the pose gradually to allow your spine to decompress. Come to all fours and move into Downward-Facing Dog, then slowly into Child's Pose.
  • Play With Hand Placement: To make more space for your spine to arch, try placing your hands a few inches farther forward instead of directly beneath the shoulders.

Elements of Practice

Yoga, which means “union,” is always a marrying of opposites. As you practice Cobra, you exert a forceful effort to create a big, beautiful backbend. But the pose also calls you to balance this with a hint of the energy of forward bending.

You'll experience this when you round in your belly to support the spine, but it's also in the feeling you bring to the pose. Forward bends are associated with softness and surrender.

Try practicing Cobra with a quiet sense of introspection to temper your willpower and remind you that yoga is always about balance and contentment.

Watch a video demonstration of this pose.

Annie Carpenter leads classes and trainings and mentors teachers at the Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in Venice, California.

Source: https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/cobra-pose

Terrific Yoga Cobra Pose for Healthy Back & More

Yoga Cobra Pose Modifications for Back Pain

Kundalini yoga’s terrific cobra pose is the in our Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses and Exercises E-Book.

  Here I would to mention that Kundalini Yoga, as you can see, incorporates the postures and exercises from other types of yoga as well.  Specially hatha yoga.

  In this way, Kundalini Yoga is a superset of yoga poses and exercises and so is sometimes referred to as the Mother of all Yogas.

For those keen on Hatha yoga poses only, I will be creating a separate e-book which will tease out those poses that are traditionally considered part of Hatha yoga and which form the basis of many other types of yoga practice.

Cobra pose is one of those nice yoga postures, which is easy to do and bestows many, many important health benefits.  It is not only great for the health and flexibility of your back and spine, but is also excellent for regulating your digestive system and toning other abdominal organs.  Full benefits of this pose are listed below the illustrations in the practice instructions section.

From a chakra point of view, cobra pose works on your sex (swadhisthan), navel (nabhi), heart (anahata) and throat (vishuddhi) chakras.  That list should give you a good indication of how helpful this pose really is, as it works on four of the seven important chakras.

Below you will find two illustrations of cobra pose. In this case you can use either pose.  The first illustration shows cobra pose being done with straighter arms, while in the second the elbows are bent.  Either way, the benefits are very similar and you are welcome to pick either or do either from time to time.

Cobra pose can also be done with the eyes open or closed.  With eyes open, one should look up as that also helps tone the optical nerve and is beneficial for your eyes and vision.

 

Picture of Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose  w/ Bent Elbows

Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose Practice Details:

a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Lie flat on the floor, stomach down and feet extended.
  • Place your hands near your shoulders and then raise your upper body and torso up off the ground.  The upper thighs should remain on the floor.  You back should arch up.
  • Turn your head up and look upwards as well.  Stretching your neck.
  • You can either do Long Deep Breathing or do the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.
  • As a variation, you can go up and down in cobra pose.  Coming up and breathing in, holding the position for a few seconds and then coming back down and exhaling.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • 15 Seconds – 7 minutes.
  • Start slowly and build up your time steadily from there.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Very good for improving the health of the back and spine.  Good for toning all the back muscles and tissue related to the vertebrae.
  • Massages all the digestive organs improving both digestion and elimination.  Works on balancing both the manipura (navel) chakra and the swadhisthan (sex) chakra.
  • Works on all the nerve junctions that lie along the spine, as well as the important psychic channels that run through the spinal cord.
  • Works on improving functions of the ovaries and reproductive glands.
  • Works on the thyroid and para thyroid glands and the vishuddhi (throat) chakra.
  • Opens up the heart chakra (anahata) promoting softness of character.
  • Good for improving vision and toning the optical nerve.
  • Builds upper body strength.  Specially the shoulders (deltoids), triceps and chest (pectoral) muscles.  This is more true if you use the modified version of cobra pose where you go up and down.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Careful with your lower back!  Do not over strain.
  • Also, careful with the elbows if you are using the bent arm version.
  • Going up and down in cobra pose is excellent for building strong arms, shoulders and chest muscles without risking injury.

Online Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Using Cobra Pose:

(Coming Soon).

Source: https://anmolmehta.com/yoga-cobra-pose-for-healthy-back/