If you’ve taken a freedom flow class, then you’ve probably come into cobra pose bhujangasana, or a variation of it.. This backbend can be easily adapted for your level of back flexibility, and provides a great stretch. Even if you can’t make it to the studio, this is a great stretch for first thing in the morning to wake up your back and chest! 

Benefits: 

Opens the chest, back, and shoulders, strengthens the core (front and back). Energizes the spine.

How to:

  1. Begin on your belly with your hands under your shoulders, your chin on the mat, and your feet together. This, and it’s turned head variation, is sometimes called Love Your Earth Pose. 
  2. Make sure your palms are flat on the mat with your finger spread wide. Untuck your toes and keep the tops of your feet pressing into the mat.
  3. Slowly start to press your hands into the mat, engage your core, and lift through your head and chest, bringing your shoulder blades back. Be mindful not to collapse forward with your shoulders. Stop wherever you are comfortable. 
  4. For the full extension of the pose, your goal is to get your belly button off the mat. If you’re able to take your gaze upwards without compromising the length in your neck, then feel free. Otherwise, keep your gaze forward. 
  5. To come out of the pose, slowly release back onto the mat or press back into child’s pose. 

Modify it:

Keep more of your pelvis on the ground, maintain a soft bend in your elbows, and stay lower towards your mat as you get more comfortable in the pose. Don’t worry about how high you are able to get up in this pose at the beginning, just work on strengthening your spine until you are ready. 

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