Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana - Fitzabout

Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana is the gentle backbend that supports overall spine health and provides awareness of the shoulder girdle. This can be practiced with an active or passive approach in yoga that helps open the chest, lungs, and lower back.

It is a modified variation of the backbend, cobra pose (bhujangasana), which is suitable for people with wrist pain, injury or carpal tunnel syndrome, so that it can be easier for beginners.

Since the Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana is performed on the forearms, it takes pressure from the wrist, providing all the benefits of a cobra pose.

According to the American Spinal Decompression Association, 80 percent of us will experience back pain at some stage of life – and very likely in our sixth decade. Supplements like Since the Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana (and other common yoga backbands) can help relieve this potential back pain that gets you down the road.

Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana


Also known as: Sphinx Pose, Salamba Bhujangasana, Niravalasana
Sanskrit name: षलम्ब भुजङ्गासन; Salamba Bhujaṅgāsana; Niravalasana
Pronunciation: sah-LOM-bah sar-van-GAHS-anna
Focus: Spine
Level: Beginner
Total Time: 3-5 minutes
Strengthens: Vertebral column
Stretches: Abdomen, Thorax, Lung, Shoulder
Counter poses: Belly-down savasan
Preparatory poses: Phalakasana, Balasana (Child’s pose), Cow pose, Cat pose
Follow-up poses: Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Setu bandha sarvangasana (Bridge pose), Urdhva mukha svanasana (Upward-facing dog)
Indications: Depression, Fatigue
Contraindications: Headache, Major back injury, Pregnant women

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Benefits of Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx pose offers many benefits. It strengthens various areas of your body, such as your back, spine, chest, shoulders, abdominal muscles, neck, and arms. These benefits are explained below:

Stretch and Strength: The practice of Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana mainly extends your spine muscles, chest and shoulders, abdominal muscles, neck and arms. Through this process of stretching, it strengthens your spine, back, arms and helps to tighten the muscles of your gluteus (buttocks). Tightening of these muscles supports your hips, spine and pelvis.

Blood circulation and nervous system: Acts as a backbone, this pose is good for improving oxygen levels in the blood thus improving circulation of blood. It stretches your back muscles activating various joints such as your hips, pelvic girdle, spine, rib cage, shoulder, elbow, neck, etc., thereby improving the better functioning of the nerves. It helps to keep your nervous system active and under control.

Toning: When Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana is practiced for a long period, it helps to improve the posture of your spine to ensure that the breath is deep and slow. The natural curve of your lower back, and upper back are maintained with the help of a hump back. Stretching of your arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen and pelvis helps tone your body with strong muscles of your respective areas.

Back and neck pain: Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana is good for helping yogis suffering from issues related to any part of the spine. It helps in a therapeutic way to relieve back pain or neck pain when done under the guidance of a yoga teacher/instructor.

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Stretch abdominal and improve lung capacity: Stretching of your abdominal area and chest helps to activate your adrenal glands giving gentle massage to the kidneys, stimulating them. In this, the digestive system is also stimulated by a gentle stretch of your upper abdominal area. Stretching in your chest helps in better breathing thus improving your lung capacity in a very conscious manner.

Relieve stress and fatigue: Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana helps to open your lower back with gentle stretching of your hips and leg muscles, it is said to be a simple therapeutic yoga posture to relieve stress and anxiety. It’s the great way to help reduce body anxiety and fatigue when going to bed, being a part of the night yoga.

How to do Sphinx Pose — Salamba Bhujangasana

  • Start on the belly and slide the forearms forward, aligning the elbows directly under your shoulders, your middle fingers pointing forward, and all four corners of your hand pressing evenly into the mat.
  • Draw your heart forward by pressing down and forward into your forearms and drawing your elbows back.
  • Press your pubic bone into the floor and lengthen your lower back by tilting your pelvis towards the face.
  • Draw your shoulders away from your ears, relax the tops of your feet on the floor, and roll your inner thighs upward and your outer thighs down.
  • Feel your lower belly lift, bringing the backbend into the upper back.
  • Gaze directly or tilt the chin down slightly.


  • To relax your neck, place a block under your forehead for support.
  • If you are experiencing discomfort as frontal hip points press into the floor, place a blanket under that area to add extra cushions.
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Note: It puts a lot of pressure on your abdominal area. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid practicing it as it may harm the baby.

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Co-founder Anjali Kumari - FITZABOUT

Written by Anjali Kumari. She is a certified yoga instructor, Diploma in Make up, Nails and Beauty, Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning. Anjali is the destination of choice for the latest updates, tips and resources in beauty, health and wellness, and all topics that mean the most to today’s woman. Whether it’s advice from a trusted expert or a DIY tutorial, she has it all. She is passionate and obsessive about science and how it can be applied in daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is the key to achieving good health and beauty. When she is not working, she likes to spend quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and healthy choices for foods to promote good health.