Sphinx Pose  -Salamba Bhujangasana

Step by step

  • Lying down on your front, arrange your shoulders over your elbows.
  • Bring the shoulders back away from your neck, shoulder blades sliding down your back and feel a subtle lift in the breast bones.
  • Guide your breath towards your lower back and abdomen.
  • To come out of the pose, bring your elbows to the sides and rest your forehead over your hands.

Beginners' tips

  • You can bring your elbows further forward if you wish to reduce the intensity of the backbend.
  • Maintain the connection between your hips and the floor.
  • Keep the base of the neck relaxed.
  • Point your elbows backwards rather than out to the sides.

Benefits

  • Stretches the front of the body including the abdomen and hip flexors.
  • Helps with mobility in the spine.
  • Calming.

Watch out for

  • This pose should be avoided if you are pregnant. 
  • You may feel some compression in the lower back but if you experience any sharp pain or pinching then come out of the pose.

Variations

  • You can get a stronger backbend by walking your hands slightly closer towards you, straightening the arms. This is Seal pose variation. 
  • Try the Yin yoga variation of Seal pose.