Shashank Bhujangasana in yoga is also known as the striking cobra pose. It is a combination of two poses – Shashankasana (pose of the moon or hare pose) and Bhujangasana (cobra pose).
|English Name||Striking Cobra Pose|
|Sanskrit Name||Shashank Bhujangasana|
|Meaning||Shashank Bhujangasana is a combination of two Sanskrit words: Shashank and Bhujangasana. Shashank means hare, and Bhujangasana means Cobra Pose.|
|Base Position||Kneeling position, Vajrasana|
|Repetitions||Practice 5-7 rounds|
|Body Part||Full body stretch, spine, abdominal muscles, chest, shoulders, neck|
|Category||Vajrasana Group of Asanas|
|Benefits||Shashank Bhujangasana is a great pose for getting a full body stretch. It’s useful for increasing the flexibility of the spine, strengthening the shoulders, and is also useful for the neck. It also helps lower stress and anxiety. It’s an ideal pose if you sit for long hours.|
How to do Shashank Bhujangasana
Shashank Bhujangasana is a variant of Shashankasana. Do practice Vajrasana, and Shashankasana before trying this pose.
- Get in the starting position for marjari-asana.
- Lower the buttocks onto the heels, moving into shash ankasana with the arms outstretched in front of the shoulders.
- Then, to come into bhujangasana without moving the position of the hands, slowly move the chest forward, sliding it just above the floor until it is in line with the hands. Move the chest further forward and then upward, as the arms straighten, and lower the pelvis to the floor. Ideally, the nose and chest should just brush the surface of the floor as the body moves forward like the movement of a snake. Do not strain to achieve this.
- In the final position, the arms should be straight, the back arched and the head raised as in bhujangasana, even if the navel does not touch the floor.
- Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Slowly raise the buttocks and move backwards, keeping the arms straight, returning to shashankasana.
- This is one round.
- Relax the whole body for a short time before starting another round.
- Practice 5 to 7 rounds.
- Note: The hand position should not change throughout the entire practice.
The following breathing pattern is recommended while doing the Shashank Bhujangasana.
- Inhale on the forward movement.
- Hold the breath for a few seconds in the final position.
- Exhale while returning to shashankasana.
Benefits of Shashank Bhujangasana
Shashank bhujangasana gives similar benefits to bhujangasana and shashankasana. However, the benefits of the latter postures come from maintaining the final position, whereas shashank bhujangasana acts mainly by alternately flexing the spine backward and forward.
- Helpful for menstrual disorders: This asana gently tones the male and female reproductive organs, alleviates menstrual disorders and is an excellent post-natal asana, strengthening and tightening the abdominal and pelvic region. It tones and improves the functioning of the liver, kidneys and other visceral organs. It also strengthens the back muscles.
- Stretches the spine: Shashank Bhujangasana stretches the entire length of the spine, promoting better posture, and reducing back pain.
- Opens up the chest: This pose expands the chest and lungs, improving breathing capacity and relieving respiratory issues.
- Reduces stress and anxiety: The gentle forward bend of Shashankasana helps calm the mind and relax the body, reducing stress and anxiety.
- Stimulates digestion: This pose massages the abdominal organs, promoting healthy digestion and relieving constipation.
- Increases flexibility: Shashank Bhujangasana stretches the shoulders, arms, and upper back, increasing flexibility and mobility in these areas.
- Balances energy: This asana balances the energy flow in the body, helping to improve overall well-being and vitality.
Shashank Bhujangasana is not to be performed by people with very high blood pressure, slipped disc, or those who suffer from vertigo. People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis or hyperthyroidism should also not practise this asana without the guidance of a competent teacher.
Shashank Bhujangasana questions answered by experts
What is the procedure for Shashank Bhujangasana?
Shashank Bhujangasana comprises of the moon pose (Shashankasana) and bhujangasana (cobra pose). The pose requires you to sit in Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), and then move in to Shashankasana and then bhujangasana. You need to alternate between these two poses.
What are the benefits of Shashank Bhujangasana?
Shashank Bhujangasana is a simple posture that has the benefits of both Shashankasana (moon pose) and Bhujangasana (Cobra pose). It stretches your entire body, helps you with the flexibility of the spine, helps strengthen the shoulders. It is also very helpful for digestion, and helps with menstrual disorders.
Is Shashank Bhujangasana better than Shashankasana and Bhujangasana?
It’s better to do Shashank Bhujangasana since it allows you to alternate between backward and forward movement of the spine. If you do Shashankasana and Bhujangasana separately, you’ll have you then alternate to ensure that there is a proper movement of the spine.
Is Shashank Bhujangasana useful for lowering back pain?
If you have a back pain, it’s advisable to first consult a certified medical professional before doing Shashank Bhujangasa. If you have pain or are filling stiff after sitting for long hours, then Shashank Bhujangasa can help.
Does this pose help lower stress and anxiety?
Yes. Shashank Bhujangasana is known to help improve blood circulation and people practicing this pose have reported lower of stress.