Snakes are one of the most passionate members of the animal kingdom. Snakes are primarily known for their stealthy, slithery nature and the venomous bites that some species can inflict, but they have been largely ignored over the centuries.
Truthfully, snake-aholic David E. Jensen stated in the June Catalyst ( “Confessions Of A Snake-aholic”) that most snakes are harmless. Even though they lack limbs, snakes can be stealthy and quick. They can also dance with incredible grace and agility, even without limbs. This video shows snakes performing sinewy pas-de-deux.
The serpent is a central figure in Christianity, but snakes are revered in Indian mythology. Every year, in July and August, Indians celebrate Nag Panchami. According to Zo Newell’s Downward Dogs and Warriors Zo Newell’s book, this festival sees thousands of cobras being brought to the temple to receive milk and flowers. Snake dancing is a popular activity in areas populated by snake charmers. The cobras are released back into their natural habitat after the end of the celebration.
Bhujangasana is a cobra that has been raised to strike or to dance. Cobras can dance by lifting one-third of their body while keeping the rest grounded. The grounding of the majority lower body allows the upper body and head to reach the heavens. Cobra Pose is the same. Dropping the lower body is what creates lightness in the upper.
Bhujangasana, when done with care, can strengthen the spine and stabilize the sacroiliac joints, stimulate vital organs, and simultaneously calm and energize the nervous system. It can bite and cause back strain and wear and tear to the hip joints.
HOW TO DANCE LIKE a COBRA
- Lay down on a yoga pad. A folded yoga blanket is a good idea to cover my hip bones. Your palms should be flattened on the ground, with your fingertips facing forward. Your legs should be extended back. Next, press your knees into the floor. Your thighbones should be retracted into their sockets. Keep your upper body lifted and resist pushing higher with your hands. Snakes don’t have fingers.
- Your neck should be extended to allow your neck and head to follow the natural path of your spine. Your head should not be thrown back. A slanted head can cause neck strain. It can cause your vital organs and backbone to collapse into your front body. Imagine a dancing cobra with its wide hood covering its head. Spread your neck and skull like a cobra’s hood.
- You can find your hyoid bone at the base of your throat above the thyroid cartilage. This action will support your spine as it draws your internal organs toward your throat. This post provides more information about Chaturanga Dandasana, the Four-Limbed Staff Pose.
- Lift your hands above the ground. Breathe deeply and slowly into your stomach and back. Then exhale fully. Your breath will move your body in a dance-like way, like a snake dancing. Keep your attention on every inhalation’s drag, buoyancy, and grounding. You can take five to ten deep, relaxed breaths. Your torso will dance harmoniously with the natural oscillations in your breath movement. Let your body rest on the ground after you exhale. You can place your head on the floor and fold your arms in front of your head. As you sleep, continue to inhale deeply into your abdomen.
BHUJANGASANA–AN Elemental POSTURE
Bhujangasana can be modified so that your hands can lift higher. These variations can be explored by putting your feet on the ground. It would be best if you also drew your upper thighbones into your legs. Maintain your cobra hood. Even if your hands are used, the primary impetus to lift your torso should come from your legs.
Bhujangasana, a pose that humans are familiar with from a young age, is something we all learn to do before we can crawl. We develop the concave curves in our spine when we roll onto our stomachs and lift our heads, then our upper bodies, off the ground. This world, like the serpent, is full of beauty and wonder with the occasional bite.
The snake is a symbol of our kundalini in yoga. It represents the life force that ascends our spines. Bhujangasana can be practiced with breath awareness to connect with our intrinsic vitality, calmness, and ability to meet the world with sinewy grace.