Twisting cobra

Tiryaka bhujangasana

  • Lie on the stomach with the legs separated and the feet shoulder width apart.
  • Tuck the toes under to come onto the balls of the feet.
  • Place the palms of the hands on the floor underneath the shoulders and have the fingers pointing forward.
  • Tuck the elbows in close to the body.
  • Rest the forehead on the floor and close the eyes. Relax.
  • Using the back muscles first, slowly raise the head, neck and then the shoulders from the floor.
  • Keep the pubic bone on the floor and use the arm muscles to lift the torso upwards.
  • Twist the head and upper torso to look over the left shoulder and gaze towards the right heel.
  • Hold for a few seconds then return to the centre and twist to the right side.
  • Hold for a few seconds then return to centre and lower the body to the floor.
  • Practice up to 5 rounds.


  • Inhale while raising the torso.
  • Exhale while twisting to the side.
  • Inhale to centre.
  • Exhale while lowering the torso.


  • The diagonal stretch in the abdomen.
  • Synchronizing the movement with the breath.
  • Swadhisthana chakra.


  • Hernia.
  • Back conditions.
  • Neck conditions.


  • Helps to remove backache.
  • Alleviates constipation.
  • Stimulates the digestive system.
  • Activates the reproductive system.

Practice Note

  • Engage the back muscles and use them to raise the head, neck and shoulders off the floor, then employ the arm muscles to raise the chest and torso.