Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


In Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), as the name suggests, the body resembles a serpent with its hood raised. This yoga pose is considered a very powerful backward bending yoga pose in Hatha Yoga. Cobra pose comes under the category of ‘lying down on the stomach’ yoga poses.

As this asana is considered powerful like the Cobra snake, a lot of care should be taken while going into the pose and coming out of the pose. Any jerks of the back while going into the pose can cause discomfort to the back and can also cause injury. While releasing too, the body must drop down slowly and not with a jerk.

Cobra Pose is considered a base pose as cobra pose variations can be derived from this pose. Cobra Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start by lying belly-down. The arms are along side the body and the legs hips distance apart and extended behind you. Tops of the feet are on the earth.
Step 2
Place your hands, with the fingers spread wide next to your lower ribs. Your fingertips should be inline with your nipples.
Step 3
Elbows are directly above your wrists and are hugging the ribcage. Fingertips are inline with your nipples.
Step 4
Engage your belly by gently drawing the navel in and up towards the spine.
Step 5
On an inhale, keep the core engagement as you peel the chest off the earth. Keep your lower ribs on the earth as you firmly root down through the pubic bone, thighs and the tops of the feet. The hands should have almost no weight in them as the lower body and core engagement should keep you in proper alignment.
Step 6
Draw the shoulders away from the ears, broaden the collarbones and shine the heart. The backbend is initiated in the thoracic spine (in the back of your heart). Be mindful not to dump into your lower back or over arch your lower spine.
Step 7
Your gaze is forward or upward but make sure not to crunch the neck.
Step 8
To get out of the posture gently lower yourself back down to the earth

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the spine

Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen

Firms the buttocks

Stimulates abdominal organs

Helps relieve stress and fatigue

Opens the heart and lungs

Soothes sciatica

Therapeutic for asthma

Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease, and awakens kundalini.


Back injury

Carpal tunnel syndrome



Photo poses in different angles


  • Take your time in this backbend. Only go so far as it feels comfortable. Keep your belly engaged and lower back long. Maintain the connection with your hips on the floor
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and the base of your neck soft
  • Point your elbows backwards rather than out to the sides
Modifications & Variations
  • Striking Cobra Pose
  • Cobra Pose Variation Elbows Leg
  • Cobra Pose Chair
  • Crocodile Pose On Elbows
  • Cobra Pose Variation Elbows
  • Cobra Pose Variation Arms
  • Cobra Pose Variation Hips
  • Cobra Pose Variation Elbows One Knee
  • Cobra Pose Variation Elbows Back
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Plank Pose
  • Four Limbed Staff Pose
  • Eight Limbed Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Child Pose
  • Locust Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.