Strengthen the upper body and enjoy a deep spine and arm stretch in Seal Pose…
Seal Pose (Bhujangasana) is a beginner yoga pose that provides a deeper spinal stretch than Sphinx Pose, and is also very similar to Cobra Pose, but with a few key differences (the hands are stretched in front of the shoulders rather than underneath, and the legs are spread wide to provide a strong base anchoring you to the floor). This pose may be a bit easier on the shoulders and lower back than Cobra, but it provides a deeper stretch than Sphinx.
Seal pose helps to stretch the lower spine, and also promotes healing in the sacral region. It also strengthens the arms, shoulders, and back, while releasing the large muscles in the hips, glutes, and lower back. It may also stimulate the thyroid gland, and energize the adrenal glands, restoring balance to the body’s energy systems.
To modify the pose, you can rest your chest on a bolster, or adjust your legs wider or closer together to find the position that is most comfortable for you. You may wish to place a folded blanket beneath the pubic bone for comfort. For a gentle stretch for the wrists and arms, try turning your fingers outwards in the pose. This pose is typically done in Yin Yoga sequences, so it is held for several minutes. If you find the full pose too extreme to hold for the full period, please rest your forehead on your hands as needed, or alternate with Sphinx Pose.
Those who are experiencing lower back pain, headache, or who are pregnant should avoid this pose.
How to Do Seal Pose:
- Lie on your stomach, legs a comfortable distance from each other.
- Bring your palms flat on the floor and adjust the distance of your hands away from your body, according to the sensations in your lower back: bring the hands forward to reduce the sensations or widen the position of the arms to accommodate your shoulders
- The neck can stay neutral, or you can gently drop the head back or forward, supporting your chin with your fists if you wish.
- Relax your buttocks, and hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes. Eventually, this pose can be held up to 20 minutes.
- To come out of the pose, gently lower the chest on the floor and lie down, forehead on your hands.
- Follow with a counter pose, such as Child’s Pose with your knees spread wide, and rest here for a few minutes.
Read more at EkhartYoga.com, or watch a demo here…