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How To Increase Your Flexibility in Cobra Pose

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Photo by Rilind Modigliani

Cobra pose (bhujangasana) is an essential pose in a traditional vinyasa style practice as it is part of the vinyasa sequence itself, coming after chaturanga and before downward facing dog.

Cobra is a great way to open the front body, stretching the chest and abdomen. It also strengthens the back and tones the glutes, while opening the shoulders and spine. It can also stimulate the abdominal organs, and relieve stress and fatigue.

Although we tend to come into this pose very often in a vinyasa class, that frequency does not necessarily guarantee being able to take your low cobra to a high cobra.

To get your cobra pose from here:

To here:

Work on these postures and dynamic exercises:

Cat and Cow

Moving the spine in between cat / cow is a great way to warm up before going into any deeper spinal flexion or extension and can increase the flexibility and mobility of the spine. This can also loosen the hips which can affect your lumbar (lower back) flexibility.

Puppy with Cat and Cow

Puppy pose on its own is already a great way to open up the upper back and shoulders. When you add the cat/cow motion to it you can increase the flexibility of this area even more.

Spider Cobra

Taking your hands out wider and coming onto the fingertips as you lift up into spider cobra pose will open the shoulders deeper than a regular cobra pose.

Thoracic Twist

Dynamic twists are a fabulous release for the spine that can help deepen your spinal extension in backbends.

Thread the Kneedle