I guess you have already heard about famous Cobra pose. Why it is so famous? Well, being a relatively easy to do yoga pose, it offers its practitioner a good amount of health benefits:
- Cobra pose can help with the slipped disc
- You can get rid of back pain, especially upper back pain
- Your spine flexibility will significantly increase
- The stimulation your spine gets in the pose will affect your brain positively since the blood circulation will be properly stimulated
- The whole nervous system will get toned since the main nerve channel goes through the spine
- The cobra pose is one of the rare "exercises" that can restore the proper functioning of kidneys and liver by gentle stimulation of the said organs
- The asana improves the state of reproductive organs, and is especially beneficial for women
- Since the neck area is also get involved, your thyroid gland gets regulated.
Now slowly raise your head, then shoulders and chest. Tip: in the beginning try to do it only with the help of your back muscles thus you will strengthen them. After you feel being unable to raise your body any further without the help of your hands, use them. Go as much up as possible, but not too much to avoid pain in the lumbar area.
Tip: do not bend your neck backward too far, especially when you only learn the asana. Also, when you are rising on your hands, try to bend your back in a smooth arc to prevent too strong bending in the lower back.
Breathing: when you are raising your body, inhale; once in the top pose, you can either hold your breath and return as soon as you want to exhale (in this case you will need to do the Cobra pose several times), or you can hold in the top pose for 10-20 seconds (in the beginning), breathing freely, then with exhale return to the first pose.
After you have completed the asana, try other asana with forward bending as a counter pose for Cobra (do sitting forward bend, for instance), then simply relax, lying on the floor for a couple of minutes.
Usually you do the cobra pose in the middle of the yoga routine; it is also a part of well-known asana “trinity”: cobra-locust-bow. Please, keep in mind, that doing a counter pose with forward bending a good idea to balance the muscle tension after the cobra pose.