Yoga, the ancient practise for mind and body harmony is an amalgam of breathing exercises, meditation and poses that direct your body and mind towards relaxation.
From improving your physical health to your mental health, practising yoga is undoubtedly good for your overall health.
Benefits Of Yoga
Regular practice of yoga can help reduce lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia . Some of the major benefits of regularly practising yoga are increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, balanced metabolism, weight reduction cardiovascular and circulatory health, improved athletic performance etc. .
Apart from the physical benefits, yoga also has several mental benefits such as creating mental clarity and calmness and increasing body awareness. The most common yoga poses of yoga asanas are Tadasana (mountain pose), Vrikshasana (tree pose), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Adho Mukho Svanasana (downward-facing dog pose) and Shavasana (corpse pose) .
Today, we will look at the benefits of Bhujangasana or the cobra pose.
How To Do The Bhujangasana Pose (Cobra Pose)
Before the onset of this pose, or, for that matter, any back-strengthening exercise, for a few minutes just rest on your stomach by making your hand as a pillow, under your head, and your 1 cheek resting on your hand.
Your toes should be touching each other and heels should be facing the sky. Like this, you prevent the loss of energy from your body through your feet.
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Stay calm, and inhale, keeping all your worries aside, along with feeling your abdomen with the rhythm of your breath.
Steps To Do The Cobra Pose
- Step 1: Lie on your stomach and keep your forehead on the floor, with your feet placed together.
- Step 2: Press the floor using the top of your feet.
- Step 3: Place your hands under the shoulders and keep your elbows close to your body.
- Step 4: Maintain the position with your shoulder blades back and downward for about 2 mins.
- Step 5: Stabilise your lower back by pressing your feet to the ground.
- Step 6: Inhale and lift your chest and head off the floor.
- Step 7: Keep your shoulder relaxed and make the back muscles work.
- Step 8: Exhale and lower yourself into the ground.
- Step 9: Come to the original position by lifting yourself with the help of your hands.
Caution: Avoid the practice if you are suffering from hyperthyroidism, hernia, peptic ulcer or intestinal tuberculosis.
Benefits Of Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
In Sanskrit, the word "bhujanga" means snake and "asana" means pose, giving the yoga asana its name of cobra pose. The pose gets its name as it resembles a cobra just before its attack. It is a posture usually recommended for people with respiratory ailments .
This yoga pose is also a part of the traditional Surya Namaskar sequence and is easy to learn. The cobra pose is proven to be beneficial for relieving pain and uneasiness in the muscles of the back, neck and abdomen. Moreover, practising bhujangasana regularly will help in managing stress and anxiety .
Now, let us take a detailed look at the benefits bhujangasana can have your mind and body.
1. Helps Reduce Belly Fat
Practising the cobra pose can help reduce belly fat and also cure digestive ailments like constipation . The bhujangasana pose gives your abdomen a good stretch and when your abdominal muscles are stretched well, it can aid in reducing the excessive fat around your belly.
2. Improves Blood Circulation
Good blood circulation is the primary requirement to stay energetic and active and one of the major Bhujangasana benefits is that it helps in improving blood circulation . Once you have proper blood circulation, your body cells will be supplied with enough nutrients and oxygen. Likewise, improved blood circulation also helps maintain the hormone balance .
3. Stimulates Abdominal Organs
As mentioned before, bhujangasana is very useful for people who suffer from digestive disturbances. The stretching pose helps in giving a gentle massage to the internal organs and will stimulate the digestive system to function well .
4. Strengthens The Spine
The cobra pose is effective in offering a good stretch to your back, it is very helpful in strengthening your spine. It is designed in such a way that your lower and upper back is stretched .
Note: If you suffer from chronic back pain, it is recommended to consult a doctor to make sure that practising this yoga pose will not have any contraindication.
5. Help Manage Stress And Fatigue
Practising bhujangasana has been found to be very useful in treating the symptoms of stress like fatigue, headache and weakness . Along with that, it is effective in managing the symptoms of depression as well, to a certain extent .
Note: If you have migraine or insomnia, take an expert's opinion.
6. Soothes Sciatica
Sciatica is the compression or pinching of the sciatic nerve, which is caused by injury or trauma to the pelvis, buttocks or thigh, diabetes and prolonged sitting . Bhujangasana has been shown to help soothe the pain caused by the condition as it helps calm the nerves .
7. May Treat Menstrual Cycle Problems
As aforementioned, bhujangasana is an effective yoga pose for people suffering from abdominal issues and the same works for menstrual cycle problems too. It is said that regularly practising the pose can help rectify irregular menstrual cycle problems .
Some of the other benefits of the bhujangasana pose (cobra pose) are as follows :
- Therapeutic for people with asthma as it helps ease the symptoms
- Strengthens the arms and shoulders
- Increases flexibility
- Improves mood
- Opens the chest and helps to clear the passages of the heart and lungs
- Improves male fertility
- Firms and tones the buttocks
- Decreases stiffness of the lower back
On A Final Note…
Pregnant women should refrain from doing this yoga pose because of stress on the lower abdomen. For that matter, even people with any surgery or stomach operation or hernia should also avoid it. Include bhujangasana in your yoga schedule and reap its ultimate benefits for a healthy living.