Saral Hasta Bhujangasana

Cobra pose is one of the very powerful backward bending asana in Hatha Yoga. It has a huge amount of benefits which cover all the body systems. In this position the body takes the position of cobra, raising its body and preparing to strike.

Bring both the hands near the chest and place the palms on the ground with the fingers together pointing forward and thumbs pointed towards the body. The elbows should be raised towards the ceiling close to the body. Place the forehead on the ground.
Position
Inhale and while exhaling slower lower the abdomen, chest and finally the forehead on the ground using the support of the arms. Place the chin on the floor and return the arms back to the prone position.

Releasing
In this position the pressure is felt on the arms and hands as well as the lower back. Over time this pressure can gradually be placed more on to the lower back. One should try to raise the body up with the help of the spine. Once the final position is attained the arms are straight, the chest is forward and open, the shoulders and neck are back and the heels are together. The neck is compressed and the throat is stretched. The facial muscles should be relaxed. The breathing should be normal.

Duration
To begin with this asana should be held for 5 to ten seconds. It can be repeated 3 to 5 times, depending on the individual?s capacity. With practice the number of repetitions can be increased. At this point reduce the number of repetitions but increase the time. Gradually increase the time to 1 minute. After more practice the time can be increased up to 3 to 5 minutes.

Precaution Should not be practiced by those with severe problems of the spine, stomach ulcers, hernias or pregnant women. It should be practiced with care for those with stiff backs and for those who are menstruating. Also not recommended for people with heart diseases. Should not be practiced by those who have undergone surgeries of spine, brain, abdomen, heart and lungs.

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