Exercise of the Month – Cobra 

Exercise: Cobra

Sanskrit name: Bhujangasana

Benefits:

  • Stretches muscles in shoulders, chest and abdominals
  • Decreases stiffness in low back
  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves menstrual irregularities
  • Elevates mood
  • Firms and tones the buttocks
  • Invigorates the heart
  • Stimulates organs in the abdomen, such as the kidneys
  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Opens the chest and helps to clear the passages of heart and lungs
  • Improves circulation of blood and oxygen, especially throughout the spinal and pelvic regions
  • Improves digestion
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Helps to ease symptoms of asthma

 

Directions:

  1. Lie flat on the belly, forehead resting on mat.
  2. Feet hip distance apart, knee caps point straight down.
  3. Tops of feet flat on the floor, toes point straight back, all toes nails press into the mat.
  4. Low belly lifts, as tailbone lengthens toward heels.
  5. Hands on either side of torso with thumbs in line with the base of the breast.
  6. Shoulder blades hug the upper back as head and low ribs lift off mat.
  7. Long extension from toes to crown of head.
  8. Elbows remain bent, tops of feet heavy.

Shortening:

  • Adductor Magnus, Glutes, Pronator teres, Gracilis, Pronator quadratus

Lengthening:

  • Gracilis, Sartorius, Quadriceps, Rectus abdominis

Stabilizing:

  • Serratus anterior, Brachialis, Hamstrings, Rotator cuff muscles, Biceps brachii

Common problems:

  • External rotation of the feet, knees and thighs – compresses the low back.
  • Low belly not lifting – compresses the low back.
  • Head of arm bones fall towards floor.
  • Head pulls, straining the neck.
  • Feet lift and buttocks grip.

Contraindications:

  • Fatigue
  • Back problems
  • Spine disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Pregnancy – 2nd & 3rd trimester

 

 

 

About Katherine Smyth

Katherine Smyth, is a registered Acupuncturist with the CTCMA, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and counselor and owner of Squamish Mountain Medicine. Squamish Mountain Medicine is an alternative medicine clinic helping people live pain free without the use of prescription drugs. Squamish Mountain Medicine provides natural health options to people of all ages, with a specialty in pain, injuries, stress, depression & anxiety, headaches, digestive issues, women’s health, fertility and pregnancy care. Kat is a proud part of the integrative team of practitioners at Reach Physiotherapy Clinic in Squamish, British Columbia. To book an appointment or for more info go to www.squamishmountainmedicine.com

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