THE COBRA: BHUJAṄGĀSANA
Perform the āsana in stages, visualizing the smooth, supple movement of a snake as you slowly stretch your spine up and backward, vertebra by vertebra. The fact that you begin this one lying on your stomach allows you to increase the spinal curve very gradually, according to the strength of your back muscles. The Cobra is always practiced as the first in the series of backward-bending exercises.
Backward bending against the pull of gravity is the most efficient way to develop a strong back. Its effect is to arch the spine back gently, promoting flexibility of the upper back in particular. The gentle pressure that the pose brings to bear on the abdomen also has a beneficial massaging effect on the internal organs. Whenever there is sensitivity or pain anywhere in the spine, reduce the effort and allow the spine to bend less, remaining in a comfortable zone of back extension.
• Increases spine's flexibility & rejuvenates spinal nerves.
• Relieves hunchback, back pain, lumbago (lower back pain) and myalgia (muscle pain) of the back. Relieves kyphosis – exaggerated thoracic curvature.
• Stretches the thoracic region of the spine, expanding the rib cage and increasing lung capacity.
• Helps relieve chronic asthma.
• Particularly useful for women. The ovaries and uterus are toned. Helps to relieve many utero-ovarine troubles, menstrual problems, and other women’s reproductive system disorders.
• Massages, tones and strengthens both the deep and superficial muscles of the back and abdominal region. Combats constipation.
• All the abdominal organs are toned.
• Increases bodily heat and destroys many ailments.
• By requiring you to focus fully on contracting the muscles in your neck and upper back, Cobra helps to develop your power of concentration.