Backward Bends


Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Cobra Pose
Level: All levels

Bhujanga = a snake or serpent.

The length and width of the back explored in Salabhasana (Locust Pose) and Makarasana (Crocodile Pose) is essential here in Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). The legs must strongly extend, the buttocks must be soft and wide and the tailbone must lengthen towards the feet to maintain a supportive elongation in the lumbar spine.

Organizing the Pose


  1. Lie flat on the floor on the belly with the arms by the sides and the feet hip width apart.
  2. Place the hands on either side of the chest, a bit behind the shoulders.
  3. Press the tops of the feet down and reach through the legs.
  4. Press the hands back towards the hips.
  5. Exhale and curl up into the pose.
  6. Either come up in one go or break it down into two stages: first lifting the head, shoulders and chest, then curling alll the way up. If this is a challenging pose for you, you might find that the chest does not lift up much at all.
  7. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  8. Exhale and release down with control.

Practice Points


  • Soften and widen the buttocks and the backs of the thighs.
  • Lengthen the tailbone towards the feet.
  • Press the palms back and reach the sides of the trunk forward and up.
  • Widen the collarbones and upper back evenly.
  • Press the shoulder blades forward and down towards the palms.
  • Soften and widen the back of the neck.