Sanskrit: Salamba Bhujangasana
Image of Maggie Anderson taken by Maggie Anderson
Sphinx is a gentle back bend pose that is a great modified pose and lead-in to Cobra or Updog. You may commonly use this pose during the traditional Sun Salutation Sequence. This is a great lead in to deeper back bends, allowing your students to come into a back bend practice gently.
- Stretches and lengthens the spine
- Stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders and abdomen
- Firms the buttocks
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Helps relieves stress
- Calms the mind
- Traditional texts say that Bhujangasana increases body heat, destroys disease and awakens Kundalini
Directions on how to come into the pose:
Lie prone on your belly with legs stretched out behind you. Place your hands, palms facing down on the floor. Elbows will be under your shoulders. To be sure your arms are shoulder width apart, cross your forearms and you should be able to touch opposite elbows. Shoulders are away from the ears.
While in this pose have the intention of drawing your legs towards one another. Root down through the tops of your feet, ensuring that your ankles don’t roll out to the sides. Push down through your tailbone. Keep your legs firm. Keep the back of your neck long; do not crank your head back. Imagine the orange on the back or your neck so that you aren’t crunching the neck too much. There should be space to elongate and not crush the “orange”. Engage through your belly to support your lower back.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
You may need avoid or modify this pose if you have back injury, headache or are pregnant.
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