Sphinx Pose, Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx Pose is a mini gentle backbend in yoga that works for people just starting a Yoga practice, coming from long term inactivity, or with limited ability due to injury, disease, wrist pain and or carpal tunnel. Since Sphinx pose has the weight on the forearms, it takes pressure off  the wrists. It helps to open the chest and lungs for more breath to come in and works the back.

It lengthens the abdominal muscles, strengthens and lengthens the spine, and firms the buttocks. It also stretches and opens the chest, lungs, shoulders as well as stimulating your digestion.

The pressure placed on the abdomen stimulates the digestive organs.  This pose  counteracts and restores the 3Cs (car, computer, couch) causing flattening of the low back and rounding of the upper back caused by long periods of improper sitting.

Always work within your own range and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing any yoga.

How To

  • From lying face-down on the floor feet hip distance apart and chin on the floor. Pressing into the tops of your feet without tucking your toes. Tops of all ten toes should be touching the floor.
  • Place the arms with elbows under your shoulders and forearms on the floor facing forward parallel to each other and fingers pointed forward.
  • Inhale, press into the forearms and lift your head, neck, chest and upper torso off the floor. Pressing the pubic bone into the floor and firm your legs rotating them by rolling your outer thighs toward the floor.
  • Upper arms stay tight to your chest, dropping your shoulder blades down your back and lengthening your spine forward.
  • Gaze forward and up between your eyebrows. Releasing any tension with each exhalation.
  • Hold for 10 seconds or longer, repeat two more times if comfortable to do so.
  • To come out, exhale and gently lower your torso, chest, neck and head back to the floor.

Take it easy being careful not to feel any pain. If you feel pain then only lift the head, neck and chest as far as you can without any feeling of pain or discomfort. While in the pose you should continually breathe with a long slow breath.

This pose can be done in bed to start your day opening the chest and lungs for more breath to come in before ever getting out of bed. Also this pose works well while watching TV.

Happy & Healthy,
Yoga Chuck

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