Sphinx Pose aka Salamba Bhujangasana is a great posture that strengthens and stretches the upper body. It is great beginner’s backbend and also a good modification to Cobra Pose. Try to be particularly mindful here not to crunch the shoulder up to the ears.
Start by lying belly-down on the earth. The legs are extended out behind you and are hip distance apart. Arms are alongside your body and the chin is resting on the earth.
Press the tops of the feet firmly into the earth and spread the toes. This will activate the legs
Place the elbows on the earth in front of you. Elbows should be under your shoulders and shoulder distance apart. A great way to measure this is to bring opposite fingertips to opposite elbows.
Once you find the correct distance between the elbows extend the forearms straight out in front of you. They should be parallel to one another. Palms of the hands are flat on the ground, the fingers are spread wide with the middle finger pointing straight forward.
On an inhale, press firmly into the forearms and elbows. Lift your head and chest off the earth. Shine the heart through the arms. Draw the shoulders away from the ears.
Press the pubic bone down, engage the legs firmly and draw the tailbone towards the heels.
Roll the outer thighs down towards the earth and the inner thighs up. This will help create space in the low back.
Soften your gaze and bring your drishti towards your third eye, the space in between the eyebrows.
To release, gently lower your torso, chest and head to the earth on an exhale. Rest the arms alongside the body and turn your head to one side.
- Stretches the abdominal muscles, chest and shoulders
- Strengthens the muscles around the spine and the glutes
- Calms the nervous system
- Promotes better digestion
- Back, arm or shoulder injury
- Pregnant women