An Easy Guide to Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose

Work your yoga practice with our easy guides to great yoga poses. Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, helps relieve stress and fatigue, and can even be therapeutic for Asthma because it opens the chest. 

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Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, helps relieve stress and fatigue, and can even be therapeutic for Asthma because it opens the chest. This yoga pose is good for unwinding, as stretching the muscles in the shoulders and chest helps alleviate stiffness.  

Bhujangasana is a chilled out back bend - a gentle way to open the heart, and to stretch the spine, the neck and the shoulders, relieving the day's tensions without strain. 


Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, in easy steps  

Step 1:

Lie on your belly with legs extended, rest your forehead on the mat. 

Step 2:

Feet are together or slightly apart, and toes are flat on the mat. 

Step 3:

Stretch the legs away from the upper body. 

Step 4:

Bring the hands underneath your shoulders, palms facing down and fingers pointing forward. The elbows are bent and tucked in close. 

Step 5:

Get grounded - feel the tops of the feet, thighs and pelvis weighted firmly into the floor. 

Step 6:

On a next inhalation, slowly straighten your arms by pushing the palms into the mat and slowly curl the forehead and upper body away from the ground. 

Step 7:

Keep the elbows close to your body and stretch up and back, vertebrae for vertebrae. Imagine yourself as a cobra rising. 

Step 8:

Keep the hips on the floor and only lift to the height that feels comfortable in your lower back. 

Step 9:

Lengthen the tailbone towards the heels. 

Step 10:

Relax the shoulders away from the ears and let the shoulder blades move down towards the mid back. 

Step 11:

Soften the buttock muscles. 

Step 12:

Keep the chin parallel to the floor so that the back of the neck remains long, looking straight ahead. 

Step 13:

The muscles of the upper back should be doing most of the work, the hands should only support the lift. 

Step 14:

Hold for around 10 breaths while breathing smoothly. 

Step 15:

Exhale and slowly lower the abdomen, chest, and finally the forehead to the ground, using your arms for support. 

Step 16:

Release the arms back alongside your body. 

Image: Ariadne Vickers

Yoga pose category:  Lying face down 

Level: 1

Bhujangasana is a yoga pose that we use to unwind and stretch – just be careful not to push the backbend too far. Remember, it’s supposed to relieve strain not make it! Bhujangasana is great for beginners to build flexibility, so that they are ready to take on more difficult asana. 

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Bhujanga – serpent 

Asana - pose 

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Bhujangasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions: 


- Breathing issues 

- Digestion 




 Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Bhujangasana if you have any of the following health conditions: 

- Wrist injury 

- Neck injury  

- Back injury 

- Hernia 

- Pregnancy

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.