Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
Cobra pose is a backbend that can vary in intensity and I LOVE backbends. I think Cobra pose is such a great pose to take in place of upward facing dog. In fact four out of five times, I would probably choose cobra over upward dog in my vinyasa flows. I don’t even teach upward facing dog because in my opinion (especially if I start my class with some sun salutations) asking someone to do a deep backbend such as upward dog without even warming up, isn’t a great idea. Cobra is so much more fluid and open to where you are in your practice. Are you the type of person who has a super strong abs and maybe not the strongest back? Are you the type of person who doesn’t have much arm strength? Are you the type of person who has back problems? You aren’t alone, if this describes you, doing cobra and only lifting up as far as you can with integrity is for you!
Are you super back bendy? Do you need to open your core and have the knowledge of how to lengthen your spine? Do you need a pose where you’re not asking your muscle to engage too much, but you still want to open your heart as much as possible? If so, cobra with straight arms is for you!
The danger of cobra is that if someone new to yoga comes and is watching a more advanced practitioner, they could straighten their arms and find that their back begins to tense up and shoulders round forward rather than finding the beautiful opening that is available in cobra pose. If fact, I have seen so many students hyper-extend their arms and lose out on the bend in their thoracic spine. That’s why it is SO important to become very attune to your body, listen because it’s telling you things in every single movement you make, not just in asana practice, but throughout your entire day!
Cobra can be practiced at any level. Cobra can be the sweetest pose you do all class long. Cobra can be super intense. Cobra is a GREAT tool to learn how to listen to your body. For all of these reasons and more I absolutely LOVE cobra pose!