Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yoga Posture: The Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Bhujanga in Sanskrit means Cobra.  When this pose is exhibited, the raised head and trunk resemble the raised hood of a cobra.  Hence it is called Bhujangasana.

The Gerunda Samhita notes that this asana, which resembles a cobra with its hood raised, "increases the bodily heat, destroys diseases, and by the practice of this posture the Serpent-Goddess (Kundalini) awakens".

Bhujangasana is a powerful tonic, particularly useful for women. It gives a backward bend to the spine (posterior curvature). The thoracic region is stretched and the rib cage expanded. The Cobra is therefore effective in combating asthma and other respiratory problems. The deep and superficial muscles of the back are massaged, toned and stretched. The spine receives a powerful backward stretch. Every vertebra is pulled back and given a rich blood supply. The nerves and muscles of the spine are rejuvenated. The spine is kept flexible. Curvature of the spine is relieved. Bhujangasana relieves hunchback, back pain, lumbago and myalgia of the back.

The abdomen should be kept on the ground. This increases inter-abdominal pressure. All the abdominal viscera are toned. In women the ovaries and uterus are toned. It is a powerful tonic which helps to relieve many utero-ovarine troubles, menstrual problems, etc. Bhujangasana increases bodily heat and destroys a host of ailments.

This pose increases flexibility and rejuvenates the spinal nerves. Combined with deep breathing, it massages and expands the rib cage. Cobra is particularly helpful in relieving tension in the ovaries and uterus, often the cause of menstrual problems. Cobra stimulates the flow of pranic energy in the body and awakens the higher chakras.

Physical Benefits
  • The arching of the spine increases flexibility, rejuvenates spinal nerves, and brings a rich blood supply.
  • Works, massages, and tones the back muscles.
  • Stretches the thoracic region and expands the rib cage, bringing relief from asthma.
  • Gentle pressure on the abdomen massages all organs.
  • Helps to relieve many utero-ovarine and menstrual problems.

Mental Benefits
  • Demands considerable concentration, and thus strengthens this faculty.

Pranic Benefits
  • Stimulates pranic flow to the lung, stomach, kidney, urinary bladder, and spleen meridians.
  • Awakens the Kundalini (potential spiritual energy), thus assisting the realization of one's full potential.
  • Bhujangasana produces bodily heat.

Common Faults
  • Using the arms to push the body up into the Cobra, rather than rolling the body up into the position.
  • Elbows are straightened and the shoulders are tensed and hunched.
  • One arm is pushing harder than the other, causing the body to twist.
  • Abdomen is lifted off the ground.
  • Head is dropping forwards.
  • Caution: Do not practise the Cobra while pregnant, although this asana is an excellent way to prepare the body for pregnancy.

Note: Please perform the yoga under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
                      Yoga for Women by Shakta Kaur Khalsa
                      The Sivananda Yoga Training Manual