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How to Do the Cobra Pose

Cobras are known for achieving a menacing pose by expanding their hoods when threatened. You don't need a hood—or a threat—to strike a cobra pose. Just expand your chest.


  • Step 1: Lie on stomach Lie on your stomach with your forehead and the tops of your feet against the mat. Your palms should be face down and next to your chest, your elbows bent and tucked close to your sides, and the tips of your fingers aligned with the tops of your shoulders.
  • Step 2: Lift chest Use your back muscles to lift your chest up and off the ground, keeping the back of your neck relaxed and drawing your shoulder blades and elbows back.
  • Step 3: Look up As your chest begins to face the sky, start to look up.
  • Step 4: Lift chest higher Press your hands into the ground to lift your chest a little higher, but only lift as high as feels okay for your lower back, neck, and shoulders.
  • TIP: Always keep your elbows tucked close to your sides, and keep them slightly bent to prevent tensing up your shoulders.
  • Step 5: Breathe slowly Breathe slowly for between 5 to 20 breaths.
  • TIP: To stretch out your face in this pose, stick out your tongue and open your mouth wide.
  • Step 6: Release pose To come out of the pose simply lower your body down—no fangs necessary.
  • FACT: In Hindu culture, cobras are considered harbingers of rain—and therefore symbols of power and fertility.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket

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