Definition - What does Sarpasana mean?

Sarpasana is an intermediate prone backbend that is similar to bhujangasana (cobra pose). Sarpa means “snake” in the ancient Sanskrit language, and asana means “pose” or “posture.” In English, this asana is known as snake pose.

Practice of sarpasana begins in a prone position with the chin on the ground. The arms reach behind the back (elbows straight) and the fingers interlock. The yogi then raises the chest while pulling the hands toward the heels to deepen the backbend.

Yogapedia explains Sarpasana

In addition to its physical benefits – which include improving posture and helping respiration – sarpasana improves focus and balances several of the body's chakra energy centers, including:

  • Anahata (heart) – the center of love, acceptance and forgiveness
  • Manipura (solar plexus) – the center of confidence, self-esteem and inner strength
  • Svadisthana (sacral) – the center of creativity and sexuality
  • Muladhara (root) – the center of stability, security and grounding

It is sarpasana's aligning of the spine that allows life-force energy (prana) to flow up through the chakras, opening and balancing them.

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