By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
In Bhujangini one takes the form of a serpent with its hood flared while practicing the gesture and hence the name. It is a yoga technique believed to aid digestion and control hunger. It is popularly called as cobra respiration or cobra gesture.
Bhujangini – serpent / snake / cobra
Mudra – gesture / seal / lock / mark
It is a type of Mana Mudra i.e. head gesture practices. This practice helps to control the prana i.e. life force energy in the body. It is also considered as a Pranayama i.e. breathe controlling practice.
Read – Mudra – The Science Of Gesture: Benefits, Types, How To Practice
- Sit in comfortable position. Take yoga meditation poses like Sukhasana i.e. easy pose, Vajrasana i.e. diamond pose or Padmasana i.e. lotus poses.
- Close your eyes. Breathe easily and concentrate on the breathing pattern.
- Place your hands on the thighs or knee.
- Now bend the upper body forward, stretch your neck, bring your chin forward and a little upward and raise the gaze to the sky while slightly leaning forward at your hips.
- Inhale through your mouth. Gulp the air down into the stomach in series of gulps. Taking in the air to your abdomen should be as if you are drinking the water.
- Allow the stomach to expand with the input air, as much as possible and s long as you feel comfortable.
- Now bring the torso back to the neutral / starting position. Expel the air by belching.
Read – Chakra – Kundalini: Introduction, Meaning, Types, Location, Ayurveda View
Variant practice –
- Perform Bhujangasana i.e. ‘cobra pose’
- Now complete the same steps as said above, starting with the inhalation
- Come back to the starting position i.e. yoga pose with which you had started the gesture.
- Breathe easily and relax.
Time and Duration
- One breathing in and one breathing out done in yoga pose or taking Bhujangasana together constitute 1 round of practice.
- You can practice 3-5 such rounds at a stretch. Once you master this gesture you can add up a gesture or two to the schedule.
- It is better to practice in the early hours of the morning though it can be done at any part of the day.
- It is beneficial when practiced on empty stomach.
- The exhalation done by belching / burping in this gesture cleanses the digestive system
- Tones up the stomach and digestive tract
- Removes stagnant air in the stomach and alleviates abdominal disorders
- Aids proper digestion of food, quickly destroys indigestion, dyspepsia etc disorders
- Expands the pharynx and strengthens it
- Directs the breath and prana into the abdominal region, which satisfies the physical, mental and spiritual hunger
- Rejuvenates the esophagus walls and glands that secrete the digestive juices
- It tricks the satiation signal in the brain which triggers the need to consume food
- It is the destroyer of decay and death (Gheranda Samhita)
- Strengthens your voice, good for singers (forms good combo with tadagi mudra)
Relationship with chakras
Bhujangini Mudra activates and energizes the solar plexus i.e. Manipura chakra and throat chakra i.e. Vishuddha chakra.
Read – Muladhara Chakra – The Root Chakra, Features, How To Activate?
Impact on Dosha, tissues
- Balances samana vayu and pachaka pitta, expels apana vata
- It balances the prana vayu – udana vayu axis
- Strengthens the muscles of the stomach and digestive system and muscles around one’s throat