Snake Pose

3 min read

Snake Pose (Sarpasana), not to be confused with Cobra (or Bhujangasana), is an accessible pose for most bodies. It’s a popular and beneficial pose that you’ll find in most styles of yoga classes as a variation or prep pose for Cobra and other big backbends.

There are many levels to choose from, from beginners to advanced, and yoga for kids to yoga for seniors.


Why is Sarpasana used so widely in different forms of yoga? It is popular because it’s easy to do and has many health benefits.

It stimulates the heart and lungs by opening the chest and shoulders. The diaphragm is relieved, allowing you to breathe more deeply. It stimulates the thymus and improves immunity by stimulating the immune system. It strengthens and tones the muscles of the back and bum, as well as the legs and bum.


You can also lay on your back (in a position called prone) with your face flat against the mat.

Just above your tailbone, clasp your hands behind you.

Press your heels and feet together. Take the inner thighs and gently lift them. Lift your kneecaps to engage your quad muscles. Make a long, tight “tail” behind you.

Press the tops and bottoms of your feet into the mat.

Inhale deeply and lift the head, chest, and shoulders off the mat.

As you clasp your knuckles, send them energetically towards your feet.

Push the energy forward through your sternum or breastbone to open up the chest.

As you release your shoulders, your ears will be further away.

Hold for eight breaths or until you feel comfortable.

Slowly lower vertebrae one by one.

Tips, Tricks and Contraindications

Avoid this pose if your wrist, elbow, rib, or thigh has been injured recently, you are pregnant, have a recent back injury, or have a hernia, or if you’ve had an ulcer.

This pose can aggravate abdominal separation if you have just given birth. Give yourself plenty of time to heal before you attempt this pose. Consult your doctor or midwife to get the go-ahead!

In this position, those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome are also at risk for further injury.

Warm up with some sun salutations and a cat and cow or Downward-facing Dog before you do this pose.

The Child’s Pose can be used to stretch and relax the spine. Snake Pose can be followed by Cobra Pose, Locust Pose, or Bow Pose to open up the chest and work deeper in the back. You can follow up the Snake Pose with any of these options.

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