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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tip of the Week: Cobra Pose

What makes cobra pose so challenging and beneficial is that you must both overcome the resistance of the connective tissue and muscles in the front side of the body while backbending against gravity.

Lying on your stomach, bring your hands under your shoulders with the fingers forward and the thumbs on the inside. Make sure all five fingers are together. To check if your hands are in the right position, roll your shoulders down to the floor and they should touch the tops of your fingertips. The entire area of the palm should be completely flat on the floor.

Push your toes, heels, knees together as hard as you can. Push so hard that you start to feel a cramp in your feet. Squeeze your buttocks and push your hips down. Push your entire lower body as hard as you can into the floor. When your knees are locked properly, your knees will come up off the floor.

As you inhale, your eyes should initiate the movement. Bring your entire upper body up off the floor as you look up and as far back as possible. Lift your upper body using 100% back strength. Bikram says you can use the strength of your hands and arms up to 15%. Use a small amount of arm strength to augment the back strength. This is not a push-up, so make sure your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle. Push your elbows in towards the body, and push your elbows down towards your hips to bring your shoulders down more. Use your hands to come up on your belly button. Make sure your lower back hurts by using all the muscles in your lower back.

  • Increases spine strength and flexibility
  • Prevents lower back pain
  • Helps to cure lumbago, rheumatism and arthritis of the spine
  • Relieves menstrual problems (irregularity, cramps, backaches)
  • Cures loss of appetite
  • Helps to correct bad posture
  • Improves functioning of the liver and spleen
  • Strengthens the deltoids, trapezius and triceps

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