The Benefits Of Doing Cobra Pose In Yoga

The popularity of yoga in the United States continues to grow, and it is considered a mainstream form of exercise and relaxation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 17.9% of American adults aged 18-44 practiced yoga in 2017. Yoga has a wide variety of poses known as asanas. These poses are often practiced in combination with breathing techniques, meditation, and other mindfulness practices to create a holistic practice that promotes physical, mental, and emotional well-being, explains Medical News Today. There are hundreds of different yoga poses, each with its own benefits and challenges. These poses can be modified to accommodate different levels of experience. This makes yoga accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Cobra pose, also known as bhujangasana in Sanskrit, is a common yoga posture. According to the Yoga Journal, it involves lying on your stomach and lifting your chest and upper body off the ground while keeping your arms straight and your elbows close to your body. This pose is commonly used in many yoga classes and offers many benefits for the mind and body. When you engage the cobra pose by lifting your chest and upper body off the ground, you work the muscles in your back, including the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, and trapezius muscles. In addition to working the muscles, the cobra pose also helps strengthen and stretch the chest, shoulder, and abdomen muscles, per Yoga Journal.

The benefits of doing cobra pose

One of the main benefits of the cobra pose is that it strengthens the back muscles, including the upper and lower back, spine, shoulders, and neck, says Healthline. Additionally, the cobra pose helps to increase the flexibility of the spine and the muscles of the chest, abdomen, and shoulders, improving overall mobility and range of motion. The deep breathing and relaxation that is encouraged during this pose is a common feature of yoga, which can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Reducing stress can help release tension in the body and mind, leading to greater relaxation. In addition, the pose can open up the lungs and promote overall vitality.

Regular practice of this pose can also help to improve posture. According to the Cleveland Clinic, good posture helps decrease wear and tear of the muscles and encourages proper spinal alignment. When the spine is not properly aligned, it can cause undue stress on the muscles, joints, and nerves, leading to pain and discomfort. Generally speaking, backbends like the cobra pose help to strengthen the posterior muscles — these muscles are responsible for maintaining good posture and supporting the spine, according to an article published on LibreTexts Medicine. Poor spinal posture can lead to a range of problems, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and muscle tension, says the American Pain Institute.

Finally, cobra pose can help to improve circulation. Improved circulation can help deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the body, promoting overall health and well-being, according to Medical News Today.

How to do the cobra pose

To perform the full cobra pose, Healthline advises first lying flat on your stomach with your legs hip-width apart and your hands flat on the ground next to your shoulders. When you are ready, inhale and slowly lift your head, chest, and upper abdomen off the ground, using your back muscles to lift your torso. Keep your arms straight and your elbows close to your body, and try to lift your upper body as high as possible without straining your neck.

It's important to keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears, says WebMD. Hold the pose for however long it feels comfortable for you. When releasing the pose, exhale and lower your upper body back down.

If you have neck or back injuries, talk to your yoga instructor and doctor before attempting any yoga pose. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your limits. Overall, the cobra pose is a powerful yoga posture that offers numerous benefits for the mind and body. Whether you want to improve flexibility, reduce stress and anxiety, improve digestion, or increase energy and vitality, incorporating the cobra pose into your yoga practice can be highly beneficial.