In Sanskrit “Sarpa” means “Snake”, “Asana” means “pose”. The English name is “Snake pose”.
Position : Prone
Type : Backward bending
Spiritual Awareness : Anahat chakra
Physical Awareness : Uniform contraction of the spinal muscles and arms
Dosha Suitability : Vata and Pita
Introducery Asanas : Forward bending asanas
- Lie flat on the stomach with the legs straight and the feet together.
- Interlock the fingers and place the hands on top of the buttocks. Place the chin on the floor. This is the starting position. Inhale deeply and slowly.
- Using the lower back muscles, raise the chest as far as possible from the floor. Push the hands further back and raise the arms as high as possible.
- Imagine the arms are being pulled from behind.
- Raise the body as high as possible without straining.
- Retaining breath, squeeze the shoulder blades together and look forward.
- Hold for as long as is comfortable.
- Exhaling, slowly return to the starting position and relax the whole body. Release the hands and relax the arms by the sides of the body. Turn the head to one side.
- This is one round. Perform up to 5 rounds.
Spine muscles and arms, spine, abdomen, chest, shoulders.
- Stretches chest, lungs,shoulders and abdomen with increased influence on the chest than Bhujangasana.
- Heart is toned and strengthend by the massage it receives due to the increased pressure within the chest cavity.
- In the final position the body weight is supported on the abdomen, pushing the diaphragam towards the chest. This, in turn, pressurizes the air within the lungs and helps to open out inactive alveoli, improving both the removal of carbon dioxide and the intake of oxygen.
- The pressure on the abdomen is also beneficial to the abdominal organs and in particular the digestive organs.
- Tones the kidneys which help with purification of blood, removing any stagnant blood and improving the health of the whole body.
- Strengthens the adrenal gland, which is responsible for secretions of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones, the balancing effect on the harmone secretions is the benefit of asanas.
- Expands and opens the chest which encourages deep breathing as well as helping to correct rounded shoulders.
- In normal day-to-day life we do a lot of forward bending but notmuch backward bending, therefore it is good to practice for a healthy back and to give general balance to the body.
- Helpful for asthmatics.
- Strengthens the spine.
- Helps to relieve stress and fatigue.
- Helps to relieve blocked emotions.
- It stimulates the appetite, relieves flatulence and constipation.
- Therapeutic for asthma.
- Tones the liver, making it beneficial for those with a sluggish liver.
Precautions and Contraindications:
People with heart conditions and high blood pressure should take care not to strain while performing this asana.