Tiryaka Bhujangasana Swaying Cobra Pose, Method, Benefits, Side Effects

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Tiryak Bhujangasana is an Asana which requires the doer to perform the act or pose by taking the form of a ‘swaying cobra’ or ‘twisted cobra’. It is a variant of Bhujangasana. 

Word meaning

Meaning –
Tiryak = Swaying, Twisting, Oblique (slant, transverse)
Bhujanga = Cobra or Snake
Asana = Pose, Posture

Related reading – Bhujangasana


Preparation for Tiryaka Bhujangasana
While performing Tiryak Bhujangasana you need to sleep on your belly. This includes lot of bending and twisting of the body. Therefore Tiryak Bhujangasana shall be done on empty stomach. Keep your stomach and intestines (bowel) clean before performing Tiryak Tadasana. To do this, make sure that you have taken your food at least 4-6 hours before performing the asana. This will aid proper digestion of food and also keep you energetic to perform the asana. Also evacuate your bowel and bladder before doing this asana.

Tiryak Bhujangasana shall be preferably done in the morning time. If you feel that you need some energy to do this asana or if doing this asana amidst your busy morning schedules is difficult, it can also be done in the evening time.


Method of doing Tiryaka Bhujangasana
Positioning for the Asana

  • Lie flat on your tummy (stomach) on the floor.
  • Keep your legs together or you may keep them slightly apart
  • Bring the palms to the level of shoulders. Place the palms on the floor at about 2 feet apart.

Performing and getting to the Tiryak Bhujangasana pose

Right twist or sway

  • Put equal pressure on both your palms as you press against the floor and gradually transfer the weight of your body on to your palms.
  • Gradually inhale and lift your head and trunk off the floor while putting your weight on your palms and pressing the floor.
  • The hands should be straight in line with the body. Raise your chest and head above the ground.
  • While raising yourself off the ground, turn your head over your right shoulder and look at your left foot (heel).
  • Keep your spine relaxed all the while.
  • Hold in this position for few seconds such that your navel is close to the ground, trunk raised and the hands are straight.

Release from the asana

  • Turn your head back to the original (start) position, such that you are looking forward.
  • Bend your elbows slightly to relax.

Left twist or sway

  • Straighten your hands once again
  • Look over your left shoulder and look at your right foot (heel)
  • For few seconds stay in the same position

Release from the asana

  • Turn your head back to the original (start) position, such that you are looking forward.
  • Bend your elbows slightly to relax.

The right sway (twist) and left sway (twist) together constitute one round of Tiryak Bhujangasana

How many times shall Tiryak Bhujangasana be done?
Tiryak Bhujangasana may be repeated as many times as you are comfortable doing it.

Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Tiryak Bhujangasana
Below mentioned are the benefits of Tiryak Bhujangasana –

  • Provides strength and flexibility to the spine (backbone)
  • It helps in correcting many postural defects of the upper spine
  • It enhances strength and flexibility of the muscles of the back (upper back)
  • It is an ideal cure for cervical spondylosis and relieves neck stiffness, provides relaxation
  • Good for patients suffering from sciatica
  • It strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • It stretches and helps in expansion of the thorax and improves lung functions and capacity, cures asthma
  • It tones the muscles of the abdomen
  • It helps in improvising the digestion and metabolism
  • The asana is good for establishing health and improving the functions of the pancreas, kidneys, stomach and liver
  • Tones up the ovaries and uterus, helps in menstrual and gynecological (some) disorders
  • Brings shine and luster to the face
  • Increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, nerves and capillaries
  • Helps in enhancing nerve conductivity
  • It helps in sharpening the memory and increases the efficacy of sense organs, helps the sense organs to perceive the sense objects properly, and also helps in coordination of sensory and motor functions

Impact on Chakras

Tiryak Bhujangasana works on the below mentioned Chakras and helps balance them –

  • Swadishtana Chakra
  • Manipura Chakra
  • Anahata Chakra
  • Vishuddha Chakra

It is said to increase body heat, destroys disease and awakens Kundalini energy.

Contraindications and precautions

Who should not do? (Contraindications and precautions for doing Tiryak Bhujangasana)
Tiryak Bhujangasana shall be avoided in the presence of the below mentioned conditions –

  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Injuries of shoulders, arms and wrist
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Hernia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Presence of pregnancy

Effect on Doshas

Effect of Tiryak Bhujangasana Asana on Doshas and their subtypes –
Synchronizes the functions of Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu and Vyana Vayu – By providing an excellent expansion to the chest (thorax) and improving lung functions, it helps in establishing a proper breathing mechanism. By establishing the Prana-Vyana-Udana synchronization, by activating Anahata and Vishuddha Chakras, the asana helps in proper circulation and aeration of the body. It also helps in maintaining the heart health.

Stimulates Pachaka Pitta and Samana Vayu, stimulates Agni – The physiology of digestion is mainly carried out by the coordination and synchronization of Pachaka Pitta (representative of agni or digestive fire) and Samana Vayu. Tiryak Bhujangasana helps in activating these dosha subtypes and improvising digestion and metabolism. This also happens due to the activation of Manipura Chakra by regular practice of the asana, which helps in building up the heat in the body.

Balances and controls Apana Vayu – By helping in balancing the apana vayu, Tiryak Bhujangasana tones up the ovaries, uterus and kidneys, helps in proper excretion of urine and regulation of menstruation, improves the health of the mentioned organs. This also synchronizes with the ‘Swadishtana Chakra stimulating and controlling’ activity of the asana. Swadishtana Chakra is the energy center which helps in controlling the fluid (water) balance of the body and is mainly achieved by healthy kidneys.

Effect on Dhatus

Effect of Tiryak Bhujanga Asana on Dhatus –
Strengthens Asthi Dhatu and Sandhis – Tiryak Bhujangasana strengthens the bones, especially those of spine, arms and shoulders, enhances flexibility in limbs and back, cures diseases like sciatica.

Tones up Mamsa Dhatu – Tiryak Bhujangasana strengthens and tones up the muscles, especially those of abdomen, thorax and back.

Effect on Malas

Effect of Tiryak Bhujangasana on Malas –
Helps proper urine voiding – By activating Swadishtana Chakra, by toning the bladder muscles and by controlling Apana Vata, this asana helps in proper voiding of urine.

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