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    Cobra Pose: Bhujangasana

    Purposes and Benefits:

    • Targets lower back
    • Prevents lower back pain
    • Helps to cure lumbago, rheumatism, and spinal arthritis
    • Relieves menstrual problems, such as backaches, cramps, and irregularity
    • Cures loss of appetite
    • Aids in correcting posture
    • Enhances functioning of liver and spleen
    • Boosts concentration
    • Increases spinal flexibility and strength
    • Invigorates deltoids, trapezius, and triceps
    • Massages and tones back muscles

    (NOTE: This pose requires 80-20 breathing, whose “How-to-Do” is described first. The “How-to-Do” for the pose is explained immediately after.)

    How to Do 80-20 Breathing:

    • Begin by taking a full breath as if preparing to head underwater
    • As you inhale, lift ribs while engaging and stretching abdominal muscles
    • Move into pose while exhaling 20% of air through nose with closed mouth
    • Continue to breathe this way: inhale fully and exhale 20% of air while keeping lungs 80% full

    How to Do:

    • Lie on belly
    • Put palms flatly on floor directly underneath shoulders, fingertips in line with tops of shoulders
    • Keep legs and feet together and keep them stretched down and back
    • Draw shoulders down and keep elbows in close to ribs
    • For next step, use strength of spine and legs rather than arms (it’s not a push up)
    • Inhale, look up to ceiling, and arch head and torso back until belly button just touches floor.
    • Ensure that arms are “L-shaped” at 90 degrees
    • Maintain slightly raised gaze and avoid supporting body weight with hands
    • To prepare for 80-20 breathing, keep elbows tightly to sides of body and relax face
    • Hold pose for 20 seconds while doing 80-20 breathing
    • Lower chin to floor