Friday, April 12, 2013

Bhujangasana or "Cobra Asana"

Cobra pose is a great alternative to upward facing dog. It’s a wonderful backbend that helps many yogis know exactly how far they can go in their backbends without getting into their shoulders.

Bhujangasana is also a great asana for a lunar practice. So, connect to your inner cobra asana  or as my 2 year old yogis say: “hissssssssssssss.”

Sanskrit: Bhujangasana                                    Western Term: Cobra Asana

Origin of Word
Bhujanga = serpent, snake

Type of Asana: backbend

How To:
1.     Lie on your belly with your hands a bit wider than shoulder distant. Exhale, insuring that your legs stay hips distant apart.
2.     Inhale as you lift up the shoulders, chest, and neck. Bring your gaze up towards the sky, opening the chest. Press your hands down into the floor and drop the shoulder blades down the back. Do not lift the legs up! Stay up for 15-30 seconds enjoying the backbend.
3.     Exhale as your lower your chest back down towards the floor.

Body Points:
*keep legs hips distance apart           
*shoulder blades drop down the back, keep the elbows bent towards the back body
*keep the pelvis heavy

 Emphasized Body Parts: strengthens the spine; stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen; firms the glutes; opens the heart and lungs; soothes sciatica; very therapeutic for yogis with asthma; increases body heat

Mental Achievements: Helps to relieve stress and fatigue; awakens kundalini

An aid for beginners: kramas or levels of a pose give us yogis with various levels options. For any given pose, there are various levels of difficulty. This krama that I offer is for beginners to the pose:

-stay in baby cobra, only lifting the back half way up. Make sure to use the upper muscles of the back and lift the hands off the floor for a moment to ensure you’re using the upper muscles of the back. Keep your gaze down toward the floor to keep your head in line with the spine. Stay for 15-30 seconds.

Chakra: 4th chakra, anahata chakra, it is symbolized by a green twelve-petaled lotus. This chakra is found over the heart and lungs. This chakra helps us open our heart to love and become ready to embrace others.
-bija mantra or “seed sound” of 4th chakra poses is “yam” repeat it in 4th chakra poses to feel the power of love.

Ancient Sanskirt Proverb: “It is called friendship, when seeing someone, or touching them, or hearing them, or talking to them, touches your heart. Otherwise it is just an acquaintance…”

Element: air

*Do not perform cobra if you have a back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, headache, or are pregnant.

Happy April Showers :) 


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