Definition - What does Bhujangasana mean?
Bhujangasana is a gentle back bend practiced from a face-down position that warms and strengthens the spine while opening the chest. The term comes from the Sanskrit bhujanga, meaning “serpent” or “snake,” and asana, meaning “posture” or “seat.”
To enter the pose, lie down on the stomach with legs stretched out behind and the tops of the feet on the ground, with toes pointed. Feet and legs can be slightly spread apart, about the same distance if one was standing naturally. Place the hands directly under the shoulders with palms pressing against the ground and fingers pointing forward; arms and elbows are held tight against the sides. Press the tops of the feet, legs and pubic bone into the ground to support the lower body and lift the head, shoulders and chest off the floor, keeping the navel towards the spine, the pubic bone on the floor, and the bottom of the ribs and abdomen on the floor. Slowly and gently arch the back, lifting the chest upward, keeping the shoulders down the back away from the ears and neck. To come out of the pose, slowly lower your shoulders, chest, and abdomen down towards the floor.
Bhujangasana is also referred to as cobra pose.
Yogapedia explains Bhujangasana
Bhujangasana is often used within surya namaskara or vinyasa as a transitional pose in a collection of asanas, and is considered a moderate back bend that can help prepare the spine for more advanced back bends.
Within the spiritual practice of yoga, traditional texts state that practicing bhujangasana can eradicate disease, increase overall heat in the body and awaken kundalini, a divine energy that is thought to be located at the base of the spine and bring about self-realization.
Bhujangasana is also thought to open multiple chakras within the body, including the heart and throat chakras.