Cobra

Benefits

  • Stretches the abs.
  • Opens up the chest.
  • Increases spinal mobility.
  • Strengthens the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and upper back.
  • Improves posture.

Therapeutic

  • Can help to alleviate upper back pain.

Skill Level

  • Intermediate

Category

  • Backbend

Yoga 15 Series

Instructions

  • Lie face down on the mat with your hands underneath your shoulders. Hug your elbows into your sides. 
  • Bring your legs about hip-width apart and press the tops of your feet into the mat.
  • Inhale, press into your palms and lift your chest off the mat. Exhale, draw your shoulders back and broaden across your collarbones. 
  • Look straight ahead so as not to compress the back of your neck.
  • Stay in the pose for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose. 
  • Take a deep breath in. Exhale, lower down to the mat. Rest your left cheek on the mat, bring your arms by your sides, palms facing up, and rock your hips from side to side a few times to release your lower back.

Modification: Baby Cobra

  • Depending on your spinal flexibility, you may only be able to lift your chest up a few inches without crunching your lower back. Baby Cobra is great for beginners and for strengthening the lower back.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have a lower back, shoulder or wrist injury.