षलम्ब भुजङ्गासन/ Salamba Bhujaṅgāsana
Salamba Bhujangasana is a beginner level yoga pose that also serves as an excellent warm up pose. It opens up your shoulder and chest area and stretches the spine. It is also a great way to alleviate stress and stimulate your abdominal organs.
This pose or asana prepares the body for deep backbends. It is a variation of the Cobra pose that is less taxing on the body.
The Sphinx Pose provides many benefits. It strengthens various areas of your body, such as the back, spine, chest, shoulders, abdominal muscles, neck and arms.
It also tones your body and helps to develop strong muscles. The tightening of the glute muscles provides support to the hip, spine and pelvis. This activates numerous joints, like hips, rib cage, elbows and pelvic girdle.
Regular practice of this asana combined with slow and deep breathing, improves your posture. Salamba Bhujangasana also provides relief from neck and back pains. It releases tension from the upper back.
This pose enhances your blood circulation. Also, it gives your kidneys a gentle massage and stimulates your adrenal glands.
Apart from that, the Sphinx Pose activates your nervous system and boosts the functioning of your nerves. It also expands your chest area. This provides more room for breathing and improves your lung capacity.
Salamba Bhujangasana rejuvenates the body and is a moderate heart opener. It activates the Heart (Anahata) Chakra. The opening of the Heart Chakra eases depression, helps the practitioner develop a positive outlook towards life, and also increases self-love.
In addition to the Anahata Chakra, the Sphinx pose also stimulates your Throat (Vishuddha) Chakra. If you can practice this asana before going to sleep or as part of your night time yoga routine, all your fatigue and tiredness will disappear. This excellent pose will also calm your mind and reduce your stress.
In spite of it being a basic yoga pose that is easy to execute, a few things should still be kept in mind while practicing the Sphinx Pose.
As already mentioned, this pose provides relief from back pains. But, practitioners with spine injury and stiff backs should avoid performing this pose. If you have neck issues and/or spondylitis, keep your neck relaxed and your chin close to the chest area while doing this asana.
Salamba Bhujangasana places considerable pressure on your abdominal area. Therefore, pregnant women should refrain from practicing it as it can end up harming the baby.