Unsupported Cobra Pose

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Unsupported Cobra Pose Mean?

Unsupported cobra pose is a floor asana that supports the strength of the abdominal muscles and spine as well as the flexibility of the spine. This pose in unsupported, meaning only the muscles of the abdomen and spine are used to lift the trunk up off the floor, and the arms and props are not used to support or hold the posture.

In unsupported cobra pose, the yogi lays face down on the mat, with the forehead on the mat while the arms are extended along the sides of the body. The hands are at the hips or clasped behind the back, with the legs together and the tops of the feet on the mat. To initiate the posture, the yogi inhales, engages the muscles of the abdomen and back and lifts the head and trunk off the floor while keeping the hips, legs and feet grounded to the mat.

Unsupported cobra pose is also known as niralamba bhujangasana in Sanskrit.

Unsupported Cobra Pose


Yogapedia Explains Unsupported Cobra Pose

Unsupported Cobra Pose offers some challenges, as the yogi will have to develop strength to lift the body as well as balance to feel stable in the posture. Pressure on the abdomen can make it difficult to breath as fully as normal until both strength and balance have been developed. Overtime, strength will increase in the muscles and in breathing, and yogis will be able to maintain a normal effort with their breath while lifting the trunk higher and holding the pose for longer periods of time.

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