Bhujangasana & Salabhasana (Cobra, Locust, Sphinx) – Overview


  • This Asana Digest covers: Bhujangasana, Niralamba Bhujangasana, Salamba Bhujangasana, Salabhasana, Ardha Salabhasana / Prone Leg Lifts and Vimanasana (Viniyoga Leg Vinyasa)

Sanskrit & Naming

  • Bhujangasana


“bhujanga” = cobra

Cobra Pose

  • Niralamba Bhujangasana

“niralamba” = unsupported

Unsupported Cobra Pose

  • Salamba Bhujangasana

“salamba” = supported

Supported Cobra Pose

Also known as: Sphinx Pose

  • Salabhasana


“salabha” = locust

Locust Pose

Heart of Poses

  • Backbends


  • These backbends are accessible with widely useful benefits.
  • These poses are beneficial for strengthening spinal muscles and preparing for other backbends such as Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel / Upward Facing Bow Pose).
  • When practicing versions of Salabhasana that include shoulder extension, the pose also helps to prepare for Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand).
  • These poses offer more strength-building than some backbends because there isn’t a linking of upper and lower body to gain leverage.
  • These poses tend to appear easier than they are. New students need instruction in subtleties including moving their focus from the lumbar spine to the entire length of the spine.
  • See Cautions regarding low back and straining.

Much More in this Digest

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See Also

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