Bhujangasan (Cobra Pose)
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Variation 1 : Lie face down on the blanket. Relax all the muscles completely. Place the palms on the blanket, below the corresponding shoulders. Raise the head and upper portion of the body slowly, just as the cobra raises its hood. Bend the spine well. Do not raise the body suddenly with a jerk. Roll back the spine slowly so that you can actually feel the bending of the vertebrae one by one and the pressure traveling downward from the cervical, dorsal and lumbar regions and lastly to the sacral regions. Let the body from the navel downward to the toes touch the blanket.

Retain the pose for awhile and slowly bring down the head little by little. Breathe in while you bend backward, hold the breath while in the position, and exhale while coming down. Repeat the process six times.

The deep and superficial muscles of the back are well toned. This pose relieves the pain of the back that may have been caused by overwork. The abdominal muscles are pulled and thereby strengthened. It increases the intra-abdominal pressure. All the abdominal viscera are toned. Every vertebra and its ligaments are pulled backward and they give a rich blood supply. It increases bodily heat and destroys a host of ailments.

There are many variations in this cobra pose in order to give a maximum bending to the spine.

Bhujangasan is particularly useful for women for toning the ovaries and uterus. It is a powerful tonic. It will relieve amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea, and various other utero-ovarine troubles.

Variation 2 : From the first position of cobra pose, rise further; keeping the elbows straight. In variation 1, the elbows are not straightened and the sacral region of the spine is bent. In variation 2, complete bending movement of the spine from sacral region to cervical region is done.

Variation 3 : From variation 2 of cobra pose, bend the spine as much as possible. Now fold the legs at the knees, bring the toes toward the head, and touch the back of the head.

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