What is Sarpasana (Snake pose yoga)?
Sarpasana is one of the few prone lying backbend yoga poses, which has excellent benefits for the heart, lungs, and back. It is good for your spine, health and wellbeing. It is also known as snake pose, yoga, or asana. It comprises two words: Sarpa, which means ‘snake’ and asana, ‘ yoga pose’. The Sritattvanidhi treatise of the 19th century is called “Sarpasana”, while Iyengar yoga mentions it as Bhujangasana or the cobra pose.
Steps and procedures
- Lie flat on your stomach.
- Clasp your wrist with the fingers of the other hand behind your back.
- Initially, the forehead should be on the ground.
- The legs should be straight and stretched outward.
- Inhale deeply and raise the head, shoulders and upper back backwards.
- Try to raise the body as high as possible without any back strain.
- Maintain the pose with normal breathing.
- Exhale and come to the position slowly.
- Inhale deeply while in the starting position and raise the head, shoulders and upper back.
- Do normal inhaling and exhaling while maintaining the pose.
- Exhale and bring the body slowly down.
- Initially, it should be practised by holding the pose for 10-15 seconds.
- Gradually increase the pose’s holding duration per the practitioners’ comfort.
- However, undue strain should be avoided.
- While practising the pose, focus on breathing in the snake pose’s different stages.
- Focus on your muscles, especially the finer muscles and nerves
- Uniformity awareness should be throughout the body.
Those who have the following conditions shouldn’t practice this yoga pose. Sarpasana is associated with the following contraindications.
- Stomach ulcers
- High blood pressure
- Heart troubles
- Vertebral and disc conditions
- Peptic ulcers or hyperthyroidism
- Intestinal tuberculosis
- Outstretch your arms outside your head.
- Interlock your fingers outside the head and raise your head, shoulders and legs.
- Snake pose yoga helps to strengthen the spinal muscles.
- It gives a suitable massage to the abdomen and pelvic organs.
- The yoga pose is perfect for the lungs, elasticity and efficiency. The yoga pose helps utilise the lungs’ maximum capacity, making the alveoli active and healthy.
- A research study found that this yoga pose’s intervention helps manage back pain.
- The Sarpasana practice decreases fasting blood glucose in Type II Diabetes mellitus.
- Sarpasana allows prana to flow through the chakras, viz. Anahata (heart), Muladhara (root), Svadisthana (sacral) and Manipura (solar plexus), thereby making them open and balanced.
Sarpasana pose yoga for lung health
The yoga pose helps to retain the breath in the final stage inside the lungs, wherein maximum body weight is supported on the abdomen, which increases the pressure within the abdomen and pushes the diaphragm towards the chest. This pressurises the air within the lungs and helps to open out inactive alveoli, allowing them to resume their regular duties. This entire mechanism improves the removal of carbon dioxide from the body and the intake of oxygen inside the body.
Sarpasana poses yoga for heart health
This yoga pose is beneficial for the overall health of the heart. The increased pressure within the chest exerts a suitable massage to nature, tones it and strengthens the heart muscles. Thus, the yoga pose helps in the overall improvement of physical health.