Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Bend Like The Snake

Posted by terrepruitt on December 12, 2013

I was talking to a friend after Nia class recently and I don’t even know how we got to this but she said the main difference between Up Dog and Cobra was the feet.  I just looked at her a smiled.  Since I didn’t reply she went on to explain how the feet are this way in that pose and that way in this pose and still I just smiled.  If you research any pose in a book, on the internet, in a class, with a teacher, with another yogi you are probably going to get a different answer on how to do it.  I am finding that just like with so many things you are going to find a lot of different – and often conflicting information.  I am thinking that as yoga has become more “main stream” and available to more people it has morphed — a lot.  So while I was not familiar with the feet being different in Up Dog and Corbra I didn’t want to tell her that what she was saying was incorrect because she could have learned it differently or be doing a different version or modification than what I do or what I am familiar with.  As we talked she concluded for herself that she thinks she was thinking the feet positions were different because of the pose before or the one after.  So she could just be thinking of her feet in terms of another pose.  Seems as if the Upward Facing Dog or Up Dog and the Cobra are sometimes called the same thing or thought of as interchangeable.  I view them and I do them as two different poses.  This post is focusing on Cobra.

With both poses you start on your belly.  With Up Dog your hands are below your body, in line with your shoulders.  With Corbra, when your body is extended, your hands are forward of your body.

Cobra / Bhujangasana, you lie on your stomach.  Your legs are stretched out behind you.  The tops of your feet are on the earth.  Place your palms on the earth a bit forward of your shoulders.  The starting position of the hands are the staying position.  The hands do not move.  So they start a little forward of the shoulders. When you are ready you push gently down with your pelvis and pushup with your arms.  Think of a cobra.  Think of how they raise themselves off of the ground, they don’t have any arms.  So let the power come from your back.  Your arms are holding and supporting.

As with so many poses continue to keep your shoulders down, the blades back. The neck is lengthening.  Keep the space open between your shoulders and your ears.  No scrunching or hunching.  The arms do not necessarily straighten in Cobra.  They are not bent and with elbows resting on the ground as with Sphinx, but they are bent.  For a bigger stretch in the back you can straighten your arms, but since the power and energy are coming primarily from the back, straight arms are not necessary.

Your legs remain together.  With firm thighs and glutes.  Toes are pointed away from you.

Hold this pose until your body says stop and repeat.  Remember to breathe, allow your breath to flow easily.  This pose strengthens the back and arms.  It opens the front of the body.  It is a great stress reliever.

This pose is similar to Updog, but it is different.  It is primarily the placement of the arms and where the energy comes from.  Corbra has arms forward and power comes from the back.

Are you a fan of the Cobra pose?

Some Benefits Of Doing Back Bends

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