Thursday, 6 April 2017

Cobra from beginner to advanced

Cobra is a great back bend - it is an antidote to long hours at a desk, opens up the chest and creates flexibility in the spine.  By opening the chest, it brings more oxygen into your body which is energizing but at the same time calming for the mind.

As always never strain into the pose - you want an even back bend along the length of your spine with no pinching in the lower back.  For the advanced variation, take care of your neck and do not drop your head back if it doesn't feel safe for you.

The pose is contraindicated for back injury and carpel tunnel syndrome.  Also unless otherwise stated none of my blog posts are intended for pregnancy.  

Beginners' Cobra (baby back bend) - this variation helps strengthen the back muscles and creates flexibility in the spine.  Don't be in a rush to get to the intermediate variation.

Lie on your tummy with your head resting on your hands.  Tuck the toes of your right foot and press your heel back. Repeat second side to lengthen your spine.  Bring your hands level with your armpit/chest and roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears.  Rest your forehead on the mat. Breathe in and as you breathe out, engage your core and lift your head and chest.  Use your back muscles to lift you - you should be able to lift your hands from the mat.  Breathe out to lower and take a Child's pose.



Intermediate Full Cobra - only proceed to this stage when baby Cobra feels good.

Lie on your tummy with your head resting on your hands.  Tuck the toes of your right foot and press your heel back. Repeat second side to lengthen your spine.  Bring your hands level with your armpit/chest and roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears.  Rest your forehead on the mat. Breathe in and as you breathe out, engage your core and lift your head and chest.  Use your back muscles to lift you. Once you have your lift, press into your hands working towards pressing into straight arms - this should feel like a delicious stretch never a strain.  Breathe out to lower and take a Child's pose.



King Cobra - this is an advanced back bend so be sure you are ready before practicing this one.  From full Cobra, take your knees a little wider and bend both knees.  Curl back taking your head as close to your feet as feels good for you.  Breathe out to release then take a Child's pose.


Namaste,

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