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The Cobra pose is commonly known in Eastern countries like India as Bhujangasana. "Bhujanga" in the Sanskrit language means cobra and therefore the common name in the West.
The Cobra pose is very effective as it can cause certain types of back pain, as it strengthens the lower back over time.
In the pose or bhujangasana, the body points down where the upper body is curled upwards. This allows the body to re-assemble a cobra ready to hit with its head up. The Cobra pose is usually the first to be practiced in a series of back-bent posts, followed by asanas such as locust pose and bowing.
Warming up the back muscles is a must before the yoga cobra pose really comes into its own as it requires a lot of back movement. The Cobra pose, if practiced without proper warm-up, like any yoga pose or exercise, can cause muscle tension.
During execution, one should be careful not to cross a person's physical limits, and one should only cross the boundaries that are comfortable for one without exercising the back. One of the tips to checking if your performance is within your own strength is to lift your hands off the ground for a second to allow the body to reach a safe and comfortable height.
The posture is very beneficial for the lower back as it increases the flexibility of the back. This is mainly due to the powerful back strain that the Cobra posture allows. By regularly practicing such positions, the spinal nerves are rejuvenated and strengthened. This posture is especially recommended for women as it relieves them of some menstrual cramps and effectively strengthens the uterus and ovaries. It also helps to achieve a firm and strong buttocks. The traditional Indian texts believe that the pose increases the body's internal heat, strengthening immunity and fighting disease. They also think it is a helpful pose to awaken the Kundalini.
People with an injured back should not perform the yoga cobra pose. Cobra-keeping should also be avoided by pregnant women. Hernia patients should not take this posture, as it can aggravate the condition. It is best if you receive lessons from a qualified teacher in a class or good yoga DVDs.