BENGALURU: Bhujanga means serpent or cobra- this is commonly known as the cobra pose.
This is an important yogasan as it targets the upper back and shoulders and is one of the steps in Suryanamaskar.
STEPS: Lie down on the floor in prone position on your stomach with your face on the mat and hands under the chest about shoulder width apart- fingertips in line with the shoulder blades and palms down. Keep your legs together, toes pointing back.
Inhale and raise your upper body off the floor taking the weight on your hands. Your shoulders, chest and abdomen will be off the floor. Only the pelvis and legs remain on the floor.
Arch your back and throw your head back like a cobra about to strike (hence the name), with your face towards the ceiling. When you do this- your chest will move forward.
Hold the pose for 15-20 seconds breathing normal.
Exhale and lower your upper body down. Repeat once.
TIP: Contract the buttocks (ashwini mudra), this allows the hip flexor muscles to relax and also helps to lift the upper body better. Keep the elbows slightly bent and close to the ribs.
BENEFITS: This asan tones the spine and cures slipped discs.
Contraindications: Do not hold the pose for more than 15 seconds if you have weak wrists.
Be slow- going into and coming out of the pose.
Anshu Vyas Seetharaman is a yoga and fitness trainer at Sri Aurobindo Society, Bengaluru. (110 Gangadhara Chetty Road, Ulsoor)