Definition - What does Niralamba Bhujangasana mean?
Niralamba bhujangasana is an unsupported variation of bhujangasana, or cobra pose. Regular practice of this asana tones and strengthens the back and abdominal muscles while improving digestion and massaging the internal organs.
In this asana, the yogi places their forehead on the ground while lying prone and uses only the strength and flexibility available in their body to lift as much of the head, neck, shoulders, chest and abdomen off the floor as they can.
Niralamba bhujangasana is also known as unsupported cobra pose in English.
Yogapedia explains Niralamba Bhujangasana
Niralamba bhujangasana is unsupported, which means it requires that the yogi use only the strength of the targeted core muscles and not the arms, hands or props for balance or to sustain the posture. With consistent practice over time, the yogi will develop balance and strength to hold the posture deeper and for longer periods of time.
Niralamba bhujangasana lengthens and strengthens the abdomen, spinal muscles and spinal column and will help to correct posture and improve digestion. In this posture, pressure is placed on the abdomen, which increases the effort of breathing while massaging the internal organs and improving circulation and strength in the spine and back muscles.
The movement into the asana is initiated with an inhale as the yogi engages the muscles in the abdomen and back and begins to lift the head, shoulders, chest and abdomen up, keeping the spine inline. As long as the posture is held, the yogi can breathe normally and then exhale to release the body back to the prone position, with the forehead pressed lightly to the mat.