Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose
भुजङ्गासन / Bhujaṅgāsana
bhujanga: “snake/serpent”
āsana: “posture”


Cobra Pose is one of the most important back bending postures in all of yoga.

It’s almost the quintessential “heart-opening” posture, and as such, it helps us to face the world with openness, excitement, and vulnerability. It also has an enormous energizing effect and helps to correct postural imbalances.

A close cousin of Cobra Pose, namely Upward Facing Dog, is often seen in the  classic Sun Salutation sequence, which is the foundation of most systems of Vinyasa Yoga. However, the two poses are different in subtle but important ways.

Even though Cobra Pose is seen as being foundational by most forms of Hatha Yoga, it is a fairly intense pose for most beginners and takes a long time to master. The complete version of the pose is quite advanced, and it is generally modified when seen in mixed-level yoga classes. Luckily the modifications have great value and can make the pose accessible to a beginner.

The findings of this exploratory study suggest that 12 weeks’ yoga training programs are effective at increasing maximum oxygen consumption and vital capacity.

Muscle Focus

Cobra Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Erector Spinae
  • Deltoid
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Glutes

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • People who are having mild to severe backache.
  • Prevention of Back Ache.
  • Helps in disk herniation.
  • Chest Muscles Opening (Heart Opening), is especially helpful for people having a sedentary lifestyle.

Benefits of Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

1. Foundational Pose for Almost all the Backbends

Cobra Pose is a beginner-friendly backbend that can serve as the foundation for almost all other backbends. As you become more comfortable with the pose, you will be able to move on to deeper and more advanced variations.

2. Stretches Chest and Abdominal Muscles

This pose stretches the chest and abdominal muscles, which can help to improve digestion and relieve stress.

3. Energizing

This pose is energizing and helps to correct postural imbalances. It also has an expansive quality that can help you face the world with openness and vulnerability.

4. Opens Heart Center

The Cobra Pose is a quintessential heart-opening posture. It helps to clear the passages of the heart and lungs and improves circulation of blood and oxygen, especially throughout the spinal and pelvic regions.

5. Decreases Stiffness in your Lower Back

This pose can help to decrease stiffness in your lower back, which can be beneficial if you experience chronic pain in that area.

6. Tones the Buttocks

The Cobra Pose helps to tone the buttocks and invigorate the heart.

7. Helpful in Sciatica

If you suffer from sciatica, this pose can provide relief.

8. Helpful in Asthma

This pose can help to ease symptoms of asthma by stimulating the organs in the abdomen, like the kidneys.

9. Improves Menstrual Irregularities

The Cobra Pose can improve menstrual irregularities by increasing flexibility and toning the abdominal muscles.

10.  Soothes Stress and Fatigue

This pose can soothe stress and fatigue by relieving tension in the lower back and stimulating the organs in the abdomen.

11.  Helps to Prevent any Sort of Backache

If done correctly the Cobra Pose helps to prevent any sort of backache from mild to severe by strengthening the spine and stretching the chest and abdominal muscles.


Women who are menstruating or pregnant should avoid this pose. If you have any neck injury or pain, keep the head upright. If your lower back hurts, tighten the buttocks or keep the legs hip-width distance or do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana instead.


  • Ardh Bhujangasana (Baby Cobra Pose)
  • Sarpasana (Snake Pose)

Preparatory Pose

  • Ardh Bhujangasana (Baby Cobra Pose)
  • Sarpasana (Snake Pose)
  • Ashtanga Namaskar (Eight-Limb Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Make sure to keep your elbows by the side of your body and press your feet and legs into the mat.
  • Make sure to engage your core muscles and hip muscles to support your spine.
  • Do not force your body into the pose, go only as far as you feel comfortable.
  • If you experience any pain in your lower back, come out of the pose.
  • If you already have a backache practice it while keeping a comfortable gap between the legs.

How to do Cobra Pose

  • Begin by lying on your stomach with your legs straight and your arms at your sides.
  • Place your palms underneath the shoulders, elbows pointing back and up.
  • Press your feet and legs into the mat.
  • Inhale as you slowly lift your head, chest, and arms off the mat. Keep your navel and hips on the floor.
  • Look straight ahead or up at the sky.
  • Hold for a few seconds then exhale and slowly lower your head, chest, and arms to the mat.
  • Repeat as desired.

Mental Benefits of Cobra Pose

  • Helps to elevate your mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Focus and concentration.
  • Helps to clear the negative emotions that we carry within.

Bottom Line

The Cobra Pose is a great pose for beginners and can provide a host of benefits, including increased flexibility, improved digestion, relief from sciatica and asthma symptoms, and toning of the body. As you become more comfortable with the pose, you can move on to deeper and more advanced variations. Be sure to take it slow and listen to your body as you practice. Thanks for reading!

1 sources
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

6 thoughts on “Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

    1. Yes, they can but not all the poses. Always look for contraindications or consult a specialist if you have any injury or any doubt before doing any exercise.

  1. I had c section. Now its 5 months and still my abdomen/belly is big. It goes in if i bind it with belt. But again it comes to bigger size if i dont use it. Please tell me proper yoga pose which will help me. I have proper weight. I have not gained extra weight but my tummy is looking big.

    1. Hi Sarika,

      The reason of belly coming out or sagging after pregnancy is due to overstretching of muscle tissues in that area especially abdomen muscles like transverse abdominis and Rectus abdominis and also deposition of fat cells in that area to provide necessary calories during pregnancy process, which certainly goes with time depending on lifestyle thereafter.

      Any physical therapy or maintenance has to be done keeping a holistic approach in mind.

      Therefore, all Yoga Asanas If current medical conditions allow can be done with healthy diet keeping calories intake in mind with the help of registered nutritionist so that goal can be achieved faster.

      Few yogic techniques like :

      Kapalbhati Pranayama
      Stomach lock/bandha
      High plank
      Low plank
      Setu bandasana
      Single leg raises etc would be beneficial to target the specific belly area

      In the end, consistently, determination and patience is the key to achieve any goal.


  2. Hello,
    I am overweight and 37 years of age. I have 2 kids with c -section. I have recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Which yoga are good for me to remain fit and also lose weight?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for a FREE course to enjoy a lifetime of health

Vedic Science of Life

  • 30 Days of yoga
  • 30 Days of Meditation
  • Ayurveda for Beginners
Sign Up Now