by Himanshu Joshi: Shashanak means “Rabbit” and “Bhujang”, means “Cobra”.  The combination in English is called as “Striking Cobra Pose”…


Position : Prone

Type : Dynamic Backward bending

Spiritual Awareness : Swadisthan Chakra
Physical Awareness : Synchronized breathing movements, arch of the back, abdomen, deep abdominal breathing while in Shashankasan, and chest opening while in cobra

Dosha Suitability : Vata and Pita can be benefitted

Introducery Asanas : Shashankasan


  1. Assume Marjariasana, placing yhe palms flat on the floor beneath the shoulders about half-a-metre apart.
  2. Move into Shashankasana with the arms outstretched in front of the shoulders.
  3. Then, without moving the position of the hands, inhale and slowly move the chest forward, sliding it just above the floor until it is in line with the hands.
  4. Move the chest further forward and then upward, as the arms straighten, and lower the pelvis to the floor.
  5. Ideally, the nose and chest should just brush the surface of the floor as the body moves forward like the movement of a snake. Do not strain to achieve this.
  6. Try to bring the hips as near to the floor as possible.
  7. In the final position, the arms should be straight, the back arched and the head raised as in Bhujangasana. The navel does not touch the floor.
  8. Hold this position for a few seconds, retaining the breath.
  9. Exhale, slowly raise the buttocks and move backwards, keeping the arms straight, returning to Shashankasana.
  10. Do not try to reverse the previous movement but keep the arms straight. This is one round.
  11. Relax the whole body for a short time before starting another round.
  12. Practice 5 to 7 seconds.

Note: Hand position should not change throughout the entire practice.

Follow-up Asanas:

  1. Tadasan or any forward bending asanas.

Spotlight effects:  Arch of the back, abdomen, deep abdominal breathing while in Shashankasan, and chest opening while in cobra.

Physical Benefits:

  1. Shashank Bhujangasana gives similar benefits to Bhujangasana and Shashankasana. However, the benefits.
  2. Of the latter postures come from maintaining the final position, whereas Shashank Bhujangasana acts mainly by alternately flexing the spine backward and forward.
  3. It tones and improves the functioning of the liver, kidneys, and other visceral organs.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  1. This asana gently tones the female reproductive organs, alleviates menstrual disorders and is an excellent postnatal asana, strengthening and tightening the abdominal and pelvic region.
  2. It is particularly useful for relieving back pain and general stiffness of the spine as it helps to stimulate and balance all the spinal nerves.

Precautions and Contraindications:

Severe lower back injuries, any recent abdominal surgeries or ankle surgeries.

Source: Himalayan Yoga Ashram