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Bhujangasana Sanskrit: भुजङ्गासन; IAST: Bhujaṅgāsana) or Cobra Pose[1] is a reclining back-bending asana in hatha yoga.[2] It is commonly performed in a cycle of asanas in Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun).

Etymology and origins[edit]

The pose is named for its resemblance to a cobra with its hood raised.

The name comes from the Sanskrit words भुजङ्ग bhujanga, "snake" or "cobra" and आसन asana, "posture" or "seat", from the resemblance to a cobra with its hood raised. The pose is described in the 17th century hatha yoga text Gheranda Samhita 2.42-43. In the 19th century Sritattvanidhi, the pose is named Sarpasana, which similarly means Serpent Pose.[3]


The pose may be entered from a prone position or from Downward Dog. The palms are placed under the shoulders, pushing down until the hips lift slightly. The backs of the feet rest on the ground, the legs outstretched; the gaze is directed forwards, giving the preparatory pose. For the full pose, the back is arched until the arms are straight, and the gaze is directed straight upwards or a little backwards. The legs remain on the ground, unlike in the similar Upward Dog pose.[4]

It is part of the sequence of yoga postures in Padma Sadhana and Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation.


Sphinx pose, an easier variant

An easier variant is Sphinx Pose, sometimes called Salamba Bhujangasana (षलम्ब भुजङ्गासन​),[5] in which the forearms rest on the ground, giving a gentler backbend.[6]


Common postural errors during this asana include overarching the neck and lower back. One recommendation is to keep the gaze directed down at the floor and focus on bringing movement into the area between the shoulder blades (the thoracic area, or middle back).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YJ Editors (28 August 2007). "Cobra Pose". Yoga Journal.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ How To Do Cobra Pose
  3. ^ Sjoman, Norman E. (1999) [1996]. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace (2nd ed.). Abhinav Publications. p. 71. ISBN 81-7017-389-2.
  4. ^ Iyengar, B.K.S (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga. Schocken. pp. 107–108, 396–397. ISBN 0-8052-1031-8.
  5. ^ "Sphinx Pose -Salamba Bhujangasana". Ekhart Yoga. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  6. ^ YJ Editors (28 August 2007). "Sphinx Pose". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2019. Sphinx Pose is the infant of backbends.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Yoga for Chronic Pain, Part I, By Timothy McCall, M.D. Yoga Journal

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]