Intention: In Cobra we move into spinal extension. Spinal extension exercises are useful for postural training, to deepen respiration and encourage a lifting of mood. Cobra is a very important pose in shoulder and neck rehabilitation because it encourages scapular stabilization, spinal extensor strength, and improved mobility of the anterior chest. Pushing through hands gives feedback for neutral scapular position. Hands off the floor strengthens the core, which makes both versions of this pose beneficial.
Starting Position: Lying on stomach with hands on floor just to sides of rib cage.
Entry: Inhale, draw the elbows into the sides and shoulders away from the ears, engage TA, and press the chest from the floor while leaving the pelvis on the floor.
Exit: Exhale and return to the mat.
Alignment: The spine is in extension without gripping of gluteus maximus or compressing low back. The elbows are bent and the upper arm bones touch the rib cage Engagement of TA at all times with TATD breath. Keep the legs engaged and reaching along the mat, gently pressing the arches of the feet to the floor.
Place block between the thighs or heels to assist in engaging deep core stabilizers and keep legs inneutral alignment.