Opener for 2nd, 3rd, 4th Chakras—Cobra Posture

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Click images below for
2nd Chakra postures.

The Cobra



Leg Lifts
Leg Lifts
CobraBhujangasana - Cobra
(bhuja = arm or shoulder; Bhujanga = Serpent)

This posture, a true classic in Yoga, is indicated for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Chakras. There are three colors that you will visualize as you practice this posture. This image (above) is from my DVD while I move into the Cobra to music. This is one variation, but is not the one you should begin to do (see below for preliminary). There are several, and they will all be provided here.

Colors to Visualize

2nd Chakra 2nd Chakra. Visualize the image of the sacral (2nd) Chakra and its orange-red color (left) about an inch above your tailbone, as your spine begins to rise. If you have not read about this Chakra yet, please click on the turquoise-colored link provided here to go to that page.

3rd Chakra 3rd Chakra As you continue to rise from the 2nd Chakra to the 3rd, visualize the yellow color streaming into your entire abdomen and lower back. Visualize that you inhale the colors (shown left). If you have not read about this Chakra yet, please click on the link provided here to go to that page.

4th Chakra 4th Chakra As you continue to rise from the 3rd Chakra to the 4th, visualize the pure green color streaming into your navel and up into your solar plexus (right about where your heart is). Visualize that you inhale the colors (shown left).

As you continue up, the colors red, orange, yellow and green fill your entire body. If you have not read about this Chakra yet, please click on the link provided here to go to that page.

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Step-By-Step Instructions for The Cobra

CobraEven if it seems that you are going to lift your upper body off the floor, you should not use your hands or arms at all when you begin. I can't emphasize this enough. I've watched too many people do this posture incorrectly and then not receive the almost miraculous benefits derived from it. There is no better posture in Yoga for low-back pain. If you have been doing some kind of work that was stressful on your low back, do this 5 times, slowly and with conscious breathing, as described below. You will be amazed at how quickly your back improves.

You will make every attempt to rise with the strength of your spine only as high as you can without using your arms. It doesn't matter if your body only rises one inch! Just move as far as you can with the strength of your spine only.

  • Place your hands on the floor, palms down and fingers outstretched, with your thumbs at shoulder height and elbows down on the floor next to your body (as described above). Remember, do not use your arms to lift your upper body off the floor.
  • Use your spine to rise like a Cobra. Your arms are not holding your weight. Your palms are there just for some support. When you do the Cobra correctly, your heels, toes and knees are pressed together. Press your heels together and then stretch your knees (if you do this right, your knees will no longer touch the floor, while your toes are firmly planted on the floor). Stretch your toes, pointed away from your body. Get the feeling that you are lengthening your entire body even before you begin to rise with your upper body.
  • As you do this, you will inhale as you rise and exhale as you sink down to the floor with your forehead. Do as Eugenia does in the image above: keep your head straight when you begin to do this posture. Hold the breath while in the upward position for a short moment (just to feel it and focus on what is happening inside of you). Feel the stretch in your low back. Visualize the colors of the Chakras streaming into your body, healing any problems. Try to release any stress in your body while you are in this position.
  • If you are already very agile, you can look up as high as you can with your eyes. If you can, look at the ceiling. If you have neck problems, wait for this to happen later when your back is more flexible and your neck can stretch back easily.
  • Between the movements, you can rest your forehead on your hands. If you have neck problems, make fists and place one on top of the other to put your forehead on the soft part where your thumb is curled in. This keeps your neck and head straight when you are lying on your tummy.

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Cobra high(Image left) This is a variation of the Cobra. It is taken from The Sun Salutation series on this site. This is a special Cobra posture variation to improve circulation.
  • Follow the same directions as above, but this time turn your feet facing out and turn your heels down. Here the feet are not all the way down, because Eugenia is not holding this posture in this image, but continuing with the Salutation. You will hold this posture as you press the inner part of your feet down to the floor with your toes in the opposite directions.
  • You will also rise and use the strength of your arms to come up higher in this position for circulation. However, please do not attempt to do this until you are able to lift your spine without the use of your arms at least half way in the initial Cobra position first. Eugenia, and anyone who practices Yoga every day, would be as upright with the upper body as she is in the above image.


Warning: Do not lift yourself up if you can't do this without the use of your arms. Sorry to keep harping on this, but if your back isn't strong enough to rise on its own, attempting this could cause back injury. Do not do as this illustration demonstrates until you are able to lift your spine this high without your arms. Try to do the Cobra in the beginning without using your arms and only lifting your spine. You will get much better results by allowing your body to learn the movements and flow into them, rather than pushing and having pain. This is extremely important. Yoga is all about loving your body and being gentle with it, not about brute force!


This is an almost miraculous posture for anyone who has low-back problems. Whenever you do anything that strains your back, or you lean forward for a long time, get down on the floor and do the Cobra 5 to 10 times. Your back will feel better!

This is one of the most important Yoga postures for the spine, so it is included in any good Yoga book. It improves posture, strengthens the spine while helping it to be more flexible. Circulation is improved from the additional blood flow through the vertebrae. It is also good for the heart. The position brings pure arterial blood to the kidneys to cleanse them. For women specifically, it helps menstrual cramps and strengthens the uterus. The Cobra is one of the few postures that can be done after a meal to actually enhance digestion.

If you arrived at this page from the Chakra series, you can continue by clicking the back button to get back where you were, or click on Chakras in the navigation menu (top left).

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