The sphinx pose in yoga is a wonderful entry-level exercise that most yogis can do. Since this asana does not require strong bending of the spine, this allows novice yogis or even yogis with back and lower back pain to gain access to the benefits of the posture without overloading the musculoskeletal system. The Sanskrit name “Salamba Bhujangasana” means “sustained cobra pose”.
"Salamba Bhujangasana" and Chinese medicine
In Chinese traditional medicine, it is believed that the meridian of the kidneys, the organ of yang, together with the partner of yin and the bladder, is responsible for the accumulation of all human vital energy. The kidney is the "commander in chief" of the body, and if a pair of kidneys and the bladder lack energy, this has a negative effect on all other organs of the body. It is the kidneys that experience stress when the energy of the body is depleted.
The meridians of the kidneys and bladder are also responsible for modulating the emotions of fear. When the kidney energy of qi is depleted, it is expressed through negative emotions. Yogis believe that with the sphinx pose, the meridian of the kidneys is saturated with vital energy and, in addition, the study of these poses through the practice of yin yoga or long contemplative poses allows you to completely immerse yourself and discover powerful internal energy. A person feels emotions inside his body, and pastime in meditative and contemplative poses allows him to penetrate the essence of meditation and open himself.
The benefits of the sphinx pose
According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of all inhabitants of the Earth will suffer from back pain at a certain stage of life, and it is very likely that these problems will begin in the sixth decade of human life. Poses such as the sphinx and other common yoga practices can help prevent this potential back pain, which may be plaguing in the future.
The Salamba Bhujangasana strengthens the spine by stretching the chest, shoulders and stomach. It expands the lungs and stimulates the blood flow of the abdominal cavity and digestive system and improves back circulation. "Salamba Bhujangasana" is also a great way to relieve stress. Like her older sister, the cobra pose, the sphinx is a great way to strengthen your buttocks!
Step-by-step execution and variations of entering a pose
- Take a supine position, face down.
- Lift the patella, connect the inner thighs and firmly press the soles of the feet to the floor.
- Focus your energy on making your hips harder and harder.
- Move your arms back until your elbows are right under your shoulders and push on your forearms.
- Press firmly on the palm of your hand (palm down).
- Stretch the crown of the head and try to increase the space between the ears and shoulders.
- Inhale and hold the pose for at least one minute or longer if you are still comfortable.
If it’s difficult to enter the sphinx pose, you can move your elbows further as necessary to reduce pressure in the lower back. You can use a pillow or lining under the arms to deepen the pose. In addition, you can spread your legs or hold them together.
Tips and contraindications
Great tip for beginner yogis: First, roll up a horseshoe-shaped towel on the floor. Place the base of the horseshoe just above the hip bone and allow the sides of the horseshoe to support the sides of your abdomen. This will give you greater access to the posture and help to stretch the spine, creating more space for lifting the abdomen.
The beauty of the "Salamba Bhujangasana" is accessibility for almost any yogi, whether it is a beginner or a person with extensive experience. In addition, the sphinx pose is relatively safe. However, pregnant women should avoid this pose. Similarly, you should avoid this pose for those who have had abdominal pain or symptoms, surgery, or rib injuries. Anyone who has suffered a recent back injury should refrain from entering a posture until enough time has passed for a cure for the ailment. In any case, before starting a workout, you should consult a doctor.
Sphinx pose is a great way to strengthen and straighten your back after a long working day. Therefore, even if you only have five minutes at the end of the evening, do the exercise and feel that the asana really works.
Remember that a healthy spine is the key to a happy life!