How do I do the cobra pose in yoga?

To alleviate back or hip pain, try the cobra, lie face down on the floor, and place your palms against the floor under your shoulders. Gently push your chest up and away from the floor as you slowly inhale. Allow your shoulder blades to pull back together and your chest to extend forward and upward. Don't straighten your arms all the way when you first do this, especially if your hips lift off the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then as you exhale, return to the starting position. Repeat three or four more times to gradually build strength.

Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body.

Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.

On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don't harden the buttocks.

Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.

Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.

The cobra pose is a great way to stretch your back and to stretch your core as well. Below is a description of how to complete:

  • Lay face down
  • Place both palms by your chest as if ready to complete a push-up
  • Press you upper body up through your arms, flexing your back
  • Keep shoulders relaxed
  • Breath
The cobra pose posture is excellent for opening up the chest, which increases your ability to breathe deeper. It also gets more circulation into the lower back and abdomen.

Start by lying face down on the mat. Place your palms onto the floor, in line with your chest. Place the tops of your feet flat against the floor and tuck your tailbone down as though you wanted to put it all the way into the ground. Start by raising your chin and lift your chest up slowly while you inhale. Go only to where you feel comfortable. The shoulders should be up and back so that your shoulder blades are trying to touch. Bring your awareness to your naval area and take five deep breaths. Then, slowly lower yourself down while you are exhaling until your face is down on the mat again.
Lie on your abdomen. Place your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders, with your fingers pointing forward and your elbows raised and close to your body, like in a push-up position. Keep your legs together and your toes pointed. Slowly raise your head, neck, and chest off the floor arching your low back and extending your head. Keep your pelvis on the floor. Exhale as you slowly roll down, first touching your chin, then your forehead, then your shoulders to the ground. Repeat as necessary.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.