Definition - What does Cobra Pose mean?
Cobra pose is a gentle back bend practiced from a face-down position that warms and strengthens the spine while opening the chest. 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.
Cobra pose is also referred to as bhujangasana in Sanskrit.
Yogapedia explains Cobra Pose
Cobra pose is often used within a sun salutation 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. The pose can be practiced as a low cobra (nearest to the mat or floor) or a high cobra (with the upper body moving higher, almost into a full upward-facing dog pose), and is easily adjusted based on individual needs.
Cobra pose stretches the chest and lung areas; strengthens the spine, shoulders and abdomen; firms the buttocks; and is thought to aid in digestion and intestinal relief. This pose is also an excellent counter stretch to relieve muscles that are hunched or curled over from working at a desk or using mobile devices for many hours during the day.