Cobra Stretch, also known as Bhujangasana in Sanskrit, is a fundamental yoga pose that targets the muscles in your back and helps improve spine flexibility. It’s an excellent posture for strengthening the lower back and relieving tension.

cobra stretch variations

Variations of cobra stretch pose:

1. Reverse Shoulder Stretch

The Reverse Shoulder Stretch is a rejuvenating yoga pose that releases tension in the shoulders and chest.

Equipment: No equipment

Level: Beginners to advanced

Works on: Shoulder and chest muscles

reverse shoulder stretch

How to Perform Reverse Shoulder Stretch?


  • Lie face down on the mat.
  • Interlace your hands behind your back, palms facing each other.
  • As you inhale, lift your chest off the mat.
  • Hold the pose for 3-5 seconds.
  • Release your arms back to the beginning position as you exhale.

Benefits of Reverse Shoulder Stretch: Improves shoulder flexibility, relieves upper back and neck tension, and promotes better posture and openness.

2. Elbow Back Cobra Pose

Elbow Back Cobra Pose is another variation where you start in Cobra Pose but place your elbows under your shoulders for a deeper stretch and backbend.

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Equipment: No equipment

Level: Beginners to advanced

Works on: Back and Shoulders

elbow back cobra pose

How to Perform Elbow Back Cobra Pose?


  • Lie face down on the mat.
  • Interlace your hands behind the back of your head.
  • Inhale, and lift your head and chest while pushing the elbows back.
  • Stay in the pose for 2- 3 breaths.
  • Return to your starting position as you exhale.

Benefits of Elbow Back Cobra Pose: Provides a deep spine stretch, ideal for tight back muscles, and encourages spinal flexibility and alignment.

3. King Cobra Pose

King Cobra Pose, or “Raja Bhujangasana,” is an advanced cobra stretch where the practitioner arches their back, lifts their chest, and holds their ankles, resembling a raised cobra.

Equipment: No equipment needed

Level: Beginners to advanced

Works on: Spine, lower and upper back

King cobra pose

How to Perform King Cobra Pose?


  • Begin in the Cobra Pose.
  • Inhale deeply, pushing your chest even higher.
  • Bend your knees and reach back, holding your ankles.
  • Lift your thighs and chest higher, arching your back further.
  • Breathe and enjoy the deep stretch.

Benefits of King Cobra Pose: Provides an intense backbend and heart opener, strengthens the entire back (including the lower and upper back), and improves spinal flexibility and posture.

4. Twisting Cobra Pose

A yoga pose where you twist the upper body to one side while extending the opposite arm upward, enhancing spinal mobility and engaging oblique muscles.

Equipment: No equipment needed

Level: Intermediate

Works on: Engages the oblique muscles (waist muscles) and enhances spinal mobility

Twisting cobra pose

How to Perform Twisting Cobra Pose?


  • Begin in the Cobra Pose.
  • Inhale deeply, lifting your chest.
  • As you exhale, twist your upper body to one side, extending the opposite arm upward.
  • Feel the energy flow within as you twist and breathe.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Benefits of Twisting Cobra Pose: Improves spinal mobility and flexibility, tones the waistline by engaging oblique muscles, and promotes revitalization and balance.

5. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

Sphinx Pose is a yoga posture where you lie on your stomach, prop up your upper body with your forearms, and create a gentle backbend, promoting spine stretching and chest opening.

Equipment: No equipment

Level: Intermediate

Works on: Lower back, upper back, and chest muscles.

Sphinx stretch

How to Perform Twisting Cobra Pose?


  • Lie on your stomach with your legs extended.
  • Place your forearms parallel to each other and aligned with your shoulders.
  • Inhale as you gently lift your chest and head off the mat.
  • Engage your core and relax your glutes.
  • Gaze forward or slightly upward and breathe deeply.

Benefits of Sphinx Pose: Strengthens the spine, improves posture, opens the chest and heart center, relieves mild backaches, and promotes relaxation.

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