THE COBRA POSE (Bhujangasana)

This looks like a rather easy exercise, but it proves increasingly difficult as a person extends it into greater stages. However, it is quite suitable to beginners. as it serves as a yardstick of their own progress.

Lie flat on the face, with hands palms down beside the body, at the chest. Elbows are. raised, but legs are kept close together, knees and toes against the floor. The forehead, too, should touch’ the floor.

Now slowly raise the head, so that it draws the neck and then the shoulders upward with it. Then try to raise the chest, leaning on the hands, which serve as a support. But all the while, the head is working higher, with more pf a backward tilt.

T-his is in imitation of a hooded cobra, from which the asana gains its name, as signified by the word “bhujang.” All the while, the lower portion of the body remains upon the floor, the whole purpose being the arching of the back, through raising the head.

Persons who like this asana will find that they gain increased facility with successive attempts. This is gratifying mentally as well as physically. However, the process should not be rushed. On the contrary, students are advised against such a step because of the strain involved. The right procedure .is to try it a few times each day, halting before reaching .the point of strain.

In a week or two of such practice, the student will find that he has made great progress, depending of course on his personal adaptability to this posture, some persons being more suited to it than others. Remember to take it slowly, by degrees, maintaining the final pose only briefly, then relaxing it by a gradual reversal of the process. Never make the action sudden or jerky. .

Also, remember that the body must keep contact with the floor,
from the navel down to the toes.

The purpose of the Cobra Pose is to render the spine more supple, relieving back pains by tuning up the muscles. The abdominal muscles are’ also strengthened.