Bhujangasana / The Cobra Pose: This One Asana will take care of your Spinal Column throughout your life (It's Anatomy and Research)


A man is only as old as his spinal column, according to Joseph H. Pilates. Even after all these years, it has come to light as the actual fact. Your spine's flexibility is crucial to your survival. If it's stiff, your energy, your work, and your daily activities will all be stiff. Additionally, your connections and thoughts will be stiff. Therefore, I strongly advise everyone, whatever age, to read this so that your motivation will be increased and you will be forced to stand for the workout because you will understand why I am speaking with such confidence.

Bhujangasana/The Cobra Asana and The Raised Hood of a Cobra - The Backward Bending Asana

Bhajan means serpent, and asana means position, much as the name would imply. Backward bending asanas are a subset of this asana in Hatha yoga. The backward bending poses are linked to inhalation because the chest commonly expands during backbends and deep inhalation support chest expansion. The introversion and extroversion traits of asanas are closely related to human physiology. Backbend poses relate to extroversion, therefore when someone practices them, they begin to show extroversion traits. Asanas for expanding the chest let one face the outside world, excite the cells, and embrace life as it is.

This asana comes in practice in the 7th position in the Surya Namaskar, and 8th in the Chandra Namaskar. However, there may be slight variations in practice while practicing it alone or with Suraya or Chandra Namaskara, but the physiology will remain the same. 

  It looks like a hooded serpent poised for battle. As a result, while we practice the asana, the kundalini shakti keeps displaying the steadiness to enter sadhana, which is why this posture aids as a prelude to kundalini sadhana. Many people may have experienced it spiritually if it had been done properly. I have had the impression of energy thriving over time at the entrances to energy conduits, like a dry lamp suddenly lighting up when filled with oil. Even though I would not claim it awakens Kundalini, clearing energy blockages does help to prepare your internal energy to flourish and find a channel to rise.



Bhujangasana/The Cobra Asana (Snap Taken from Anatomy of Yoga)

Anatomy of The Cobra Pose

The spinal column is the most significant component of the body because it serves as both the body's backbone and the source of all life. The muscles that surround this spinal column are made up of stacked vertebrae and discs. The spinal cord is supported and covered by muscle groups on all sides, shielding it from pressure and jerks. The Cobra Pose thereby extends the abdominal muscles and tones and strengthens the muscles that support the spinal column from an anatomical perspective. 
              A Spinal Cord injury is said to be a Traffic Jam in Body's Highway System          

    The muscle plays a very important role in keeping the spine straight unconsciously, Therefore the muscle helps keep the spine balanced, the bulge between the vertebrae in position, and since in a backward bending position the bulge between each stack of vertebrae is supported to be in position due to compression thus this asana plays a vital role in back pain related issues. 

(Note: Vertebrae = Individual, interlocked bones piled together to form the spinal cord are known as vertebrae.)

Picture showing the Spinal Column

The Spinal Nerves

The spinal nerve is a mixed nerve that arises between the nearby vertebrae and transmits motor, sensory, and autonomic information to and from the spinal cord. Since the muscles provide energy to all the other organs, nerves, and muscles in the body, they safeguard this nerve and have positive effects. The asana stretches the muscles in the abdominal region, which in turn tones and strengthens the muscles that support the spinal nerve and govern the spine.

Practice Sequence 

First, lay comfortably flat on your stomach with your legs straight and pointed up. Keep your foot close to your body.

Second - With your fingers joined and pointing downward, both of your palms should be contacting the mat just below and slightly to the side of your shoulders.

Third, intense your muscles while keeping your head down and your eyes closed in the initial position.

Fourth, hold the arms in a position where the elbows are pointing backward and near the side of the body.

   See the initial four actions I just concentrated on getting ready, as I usually concentrate on the discipline of any asana because when you are disciplined, you will unconsciously suppress the qualities of what it is about to teach you.

Fifth, lift your head slowly, then tilt your neck slightly backward so that your chin points forward and the back of your neck is pinched.

Sixth, slowly and deliberately raise your shoulders first, then your neck.

Seventh, slightly straighten the elbow with the aid of the side back muscles (serratus anterior) first, and then with the help of the arms muscle (triceps brachii), which is crucial for lifting and also tones up with practice. This will lift the trunk and arch the back (as seen in the picture).

Eighth, depending on flexibility, the pubic bone will be left in contact with the floor in the final position. Your elbow's flexibility will determine whether it is bent or straight. Both times it's OK.

Ninth, depending on your level of practice, stay in the ninth position for the remaining time; novices may stay for 5 to 10 seconds, and the period may be extended accordingly.

Tenth, gradually undo the motion that brought you to your starting position. Slowly and steadily touch the ground with your navel, chest, shoulders, and then forehead.

Eleventh, unwind while you sleep and notice the changes happening throughout your entire body.


(Note: If you elevate too high, pressure will be applied to the knees rather than the back. The final posture should leave 3 cm or less between the navel and the floor.)

Practice it 3 to four times daily, and make it a part of your daily routine, because this is one asana, that is not only my favorite, but if done properly, it will bring enormous positive changes to your life, and your spine health.

Breathing - 

While raising - Inhale slowly
While in Final Position - Retain your breath (slow inhalation and exhalation)
While coming down - Exhale Slowly 

The mind is the King of the Senses, but the breath is the king of the mind - Hatha Yoga Pradipika
    It is important to perform the practice with proper control and synchronization of breath so that the whole group of muscles is uniformly contracted. 

    I will write another article pointing to the research carried out in Bhujangasana, since many of the researchers carried out the practical implementation of this asana in physical work, they conducted research on subjects undergoing physical activity, and who used to do labour work daily, by leveraging and lifting heavy items on there back. This affects their back resulting in hunching, herniated discs, and slip discs, thus this asana is a subject of research in many aspects. 

    Research showed that around 80 to 90 % of back problems are related to muscular imbalances. This im-balancing in muscles is carried for a prolonged period then it will result in the misalignment of a stacked pile of vertebrae, resulting in the strained ligament which ultimately will lead to severe issues such as slipped disc, sciatica, disc herniation, spondylitis, osteoarthritis and many other related affairs.

There are many benefits of these asanas, therefore I will be trying to mention all of those in my next one and will provide a link here. However one of the most important benefits from the spiritual point of view is, it helps awaken Kundalini, the serpent power. I will discuss in detail about this, and its anatomical behaviour. 

Thank You

Tanmay Bhati

Other Articles From Yogacosmicscience:

14. The Anatomy of Sushumna Nadi.

15. Nuances of Yoga

16. Sattva Rajas Tamas.

17. Pranayama form Heart and Related Research.

18. Can I see the seven chakras physically and what are the associated frequencies with each chakra? 

19. Awareness is the key: how consciously we deal with yogic practices to increase awareness.

20. Physiology of a Child's Brain: The First Parenting Lesson is to Observe Them


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