Yoga Poses: Sphinx Pose

Sphinx pose (Salamba Bhugangasana) is the gentlest of the backbend poses. This pose is similar to cobra pose and can be done by people of all levels of practice. While this asana can easily be performed by most beginners, if you have a back injury, strain or headache, you may want to skip this pose. Ask your doctor or yoga teacher for advice before trying this pose.

Sphinx stretches the back, opens the chest, stretches the shoulders and chest and firms the abdomen. This asana offers several benefits, including stress relief, fatigue, and toning and strengthening the abdomen, buttocks and arms.

Like on your yoga mat on your belly. Your legs should be stretched out behind you with the toes pointed and the feet and legs flat on the mat. Lengthen the lower body on the mat from the lower back to the toes. The legs are flat on the mat, but remain active throughout the pose.

Your arms should be bent at the elbow with the elbows directly below the shoulders on each side of the body. The forearms are straight out in front of you, flat on the mat with the palms facing down.

The movement is a bit different than cobra pose. Rather than lifting the front body from the mat, you are gently lifting the head and chest into a gentle backbend. This pose has forward motion and a solid foundation in the pose. From the crown of your head through your shoulders and chest, gently pull yourself forward with the arms. You should feel a gentle stretch in your back.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute and breathe softly. To come out of the pose, gently lower your chest, head and shoulders back down on the mat. In some practices, this pose is done a few times in a row, while in other classes you will move on to the next pose in the sequence.

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About Pattie Hughes

Pattie Hughes is a freelance writer and mother of four young children. She and her husband have been married since 1992. Pattie holds a degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University. Just before her third child was born, the family relocated to Pennsylvania to be near family. She stopped teaching and began writing. This gives her the opportunity to work from home and be with her children. She enjoys spending time with her family, doing crafts, playing outside at the park or just hanging out together.