Yoga for Posture – 35 – Baby Cobra Mods

I began this series of yoga poses for posture with baby cobra. It’s a very gentle, easy posture, which will

  • increase the strength of your lumbar muscles
  • help train your lazy glutes
  • help fix your lumbar curve

Lately I’ve been having a little low back pain, and my posture has been slipping a little, so as I’ve returned to basics in my own practice, I thought I’d return to basics here. In addition, I noticed that I wasn’t doing the basic, beginning Baby Cobra I wrote about way back when. Instead, I’m doing some mods to add a little extra. Let’s go over them.

As you train your body and posture, you will find that you want, and need, more vigorous, challenging exercises. Therefore, today I offer you a couple of mods to Baby Cobra to help dial it up a bit. First a review.

Baby cobra:

Lie on your stomach, forehead on the floor, legs straight behind you, palms flat to the floor near your floating ribs. It doesn’t matter too much where you place your hands because you’re not going to be doing anything with your arms or shoulders.

Once you have your body position:

  • squeeze your glutes
  • tighten your thighs
  • engage your core
  • lift your chin straight up 1 inch while continuing to look straight down at the floor. THIS IS KEY. Don’t raise your eyes, don’t lift your chin. Keep looking down.
  • hold for a few seconds
  • lower your forehead back to the floor, exactly opposite to the way you raised it
  • perform 3 to 5 repetitions

That’s it. Simple, easy, low stress, low strain. But it activates, uses, strengthens and trains your erectors, the muscles which hold your spine erect. Start with a few short holds and increase both number and duration as your back gets stronger.

Baby Cobra Mods

Now for fun, let’s challenge the body. As you gain strength, you will be able to raise your head more than a couple of inches off the floor. So, as you get progressively stronger:

  • raise your head higher, always making sure that you are working in the pain free range of motion
  • as you raise your head, raise one leg
    • bend only at the hip, never the knee
    • alternate legs
  • as you get stronger, raise both legs simultaneously, bending your entire back line backwards

Baby cobra is an amazing back strengthening, lumbar recurving exercise. It is also an excellent beginning point for greater strength drills, as explained above.