Yoga Salamba Bhujangasana or Sphinx Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Sphinx Pose
Sanskrit
षलम्ब भुजङ्गासन/ Salamba Bhujaṅgāsana
Pronunciation
sah-LOM-bah sar-van-GAHS-anna
Meaning
salamba:”supported,”
bhujanga:”cobra”

Introduction

Salamba Bhujangasana or Sphinx pose is a beginner-level yoga position that also serves as an excellent warm-up. It opens up your shoulders and chest area while stretching the spine.”  “This can be used to alleviate stress or stimulate abdominal organs depending on how you want the sensation felt in those areas”. It also helps prepare our bodies for deeper backbends like Cobra or Eagle poses.

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

Sphinx 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.
  • Chest Muscles Opening (Heart Opening), especially helpful for people having a sedentary lifestyle.

Benefits of Sphinx Pose

1. Strengthens the Spine

Sphinx Pose strengthens the spine by activating the back muscles especially the spinal erectors

2. It Helps to Increase the Lung Capacity

Our lungs are located in the chest cavity,  when we do Sphinx pose, it helps to create space in the lungs and therefore increases lung capacity. The more lung capacity, the better is your breathing pattern.

3. Sphinx Pose Improves Digestion

Sphinx Pose activates our abdominal organs like the stomach and intestines which helps improve our digestion process. It also increases blood flow to the digestive system as well as other organs of the body making them function at their best.

4. Improves Blood Circulation

Salamba Bhujangasana or Sphinx pose stretches out chest muscles which increase oxygenated blood flow throughout torso region.” “This makes sure that all vital organs get enough supply of nutrients from food digested earlier so they can perform their functions efficiently without any interruption”. This will help you fight fatigue and keep up with your daily routine without feeling tired often.

5. Sphinx Pose is a Good Way to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

“Sphinx Pose is a good way to relieve stress and anxiety.” “It relaxes the mind by releasing tension from the neck, shoulders along with lower back muscles which are major contributors in causing stress-related issues like headache or migraine attacks”. This asana has a calming effect on both body as well as nervous system making you feel more relaxed after practicing it regularly over time.

6. It Helps Improve Breathing Pattern

Sphinx Pose is known to help improve the breathing pattern. The better our breathing, the more oxygenated blood flow we get and that keeps all vital organs functioning properly. This asana should be a part of your yoga routine if you are looking for ways to improve your overall health and well-being”.

7. It is a Good Way to Start Your Yoga Practice

Salamba Bhujangasana or Sphinx pose is an excellent asana to begin your yoga practice with. It warms up the body and prepares it for more challenging poses. So, if you are new to yoga or looking for a simple pose that can offer multiple benefits

Contraindications

The sphinx pose is a basic yoga position that provides relief for back pain. However, those with spine injuries and stiff necks should avoid performing it as the Salamba Bhujangasana places considerable pressure on your abdominal area- this can end up harming their unborn child if they are pregnant or have other medical conditions such as Salmana Bhyanga (spinal meningocele).

Variations

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

Preparatory Pose

Baby Cobra Pose (Ardh Bhujangasana)

Beginner’s Tips

  •  Beginners should start practicing this pose under the supervision of an expert yoga teacher who can guide them through proper steps so there won’t be any injuries due to incorrect alignment while doing Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose).
  •   If you have any back problems like sciatica pain or neck issues then avoid doing this pose as it might aggravate those conditions further instead consult your doctor before starting with Sphinx Pose.
  •  Sphinx pose is not recommended for pregnant women or those suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, and dizziness.”
  •   Make sure to keep your shoulder blades pressed down firmly against the floor and gaze straight ahead to maintain correct alignment throughout the pose.
  •  “If you find it difficult to hold this pose for a long time, start by practicing it for a few seconds and then gradually increase the duration as you get comfortable with the pose.”

How to do Sphinx Pose

Step 1 – Lie down on the ground facing towards the ceiling while keeping feet hip-distance apart.

Step 2 – Place your elbows beneath shoulders on either side of the torso region so that palms are flat against the floor surface too. Unlike Cobra Pose you are resting on forearms rather than palms (this is called Sphinx pose).

Step 3 – Now slowly raise the upper body off ground using back muscles as well as arms strength until you feel some stretch in the lower back area but make sure you are engaging your glutes.

Step 4 – Keep your knees straight if possible.

Step 5 – Hold this position for 30-60 seconds and then release.

Mental Benefits of Sphinx Pose

  • It helps to improve breathing patterns and reduces stress.
  • It also improves your mood and relieves anxiety

Bottom Line

In Sphinx Pose, you’ll feel the benefits of this position come to life. The stretch in your spine will help relieve any tension while also energizing all areas toward something new and exciting! It’s time for a change – give it ago today by elongating yourself with bounds like never before

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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