KING COBRA POSE 

YOGA ANATOMY • BIOMECHANICS • TECHNIQUE

KING COBRA

5 Key Actions to Decompress Your Spine in King Cobra Pose

Not all that glitters is gold and this glorious backbend may not be a shining example of spinal health without the right approach.

King Cobra is no doubt a visually stunning yoga posture. When we see the outward execution of the pose, we see strength, confidence, and it may even appear to express maximum spinal mobility. It’s important however, to understand that there are key actions to take in order for all of these things to be true.

In this King Cobra tutorial, Matt provides a step by step process of these actions in order to place the process and development of your body to prepare for the posture, rather than placing emphasis on only “achieving” the pose purely for the aesthetics.

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    ANATOMY

    The awareness of your anatomy is vital in understanding each step. Understanding your anatomy helps you to more clearly and intentionally connect with the sensations in your body, therefore cultivating a more direct line of communication from your brain to your body and your body to your brain. The development of these signals will promote a more sophisticated body awareness that will help you to activate the appropriate muscles (without overdoing it) and to know exactly what directions to not only take, but to maintain with a particular part of your body as you layer on each action.

    5 KEY ACTIONS FOR KING COBRA POSE

    You might think that it’s all about your spine and how flexible and/or mobile it is. How we involve our entire body is key and Matt provides the roadmap with the following 5 Key Actions to set up King Cobra.

      1. Bring the chest forward. In the first few attempts, it may feel as though not much is happening, but this is where the mind-body connection is developed.
      2. This second action that may be overlooked, is pressing back through your heels while the feet are in dorsiflexion (this is also important later). Press your heels away from the direction of the chest. What does this do? Why is this important? This is the first step in both awareness and action of decompressing the spine. Creating this length crucial as Matt guides us through the next steps
        *But, let’s pause for a moment and check in with your abdominals, if you are engaging too much here, then this will reduce the amount of expansion in your extension for your backbend, so leaning into a stretch sensation in your front body is helpful.
      3. Next on board are your hamstrings, once you bend your knees you’re going to fire up and activate your hamstrings. This is how the dorsiflexion of your feet can be a great action to take as you build a relationship with how much and/or how little your hamstrings do activate. In the video, Matt describes when the feet are pointed (plantar flexion) may cramp your hamstrings because you are shortening the posterior chain too much. He explains that once your body has enough mobility to point your feet, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
      4. In this step, we understand why the layering is important. As the knees are bent and you’re potentially trying to get your feet closer to your head Matt again emphasizes pulling your spine forward. Your body may feel the need to compress here and shorten. You might feel the desire to actually send your chest and head back to “achieve the desired result”. It’s most important here to come back to the development and preparation for the spine.
      5. This step really goes hand in hand with #4, but pulling your belly up makes a significant impact not only on the experience within you body, but also actually bringing your head back slightly. (You can see the visual change when Matt layers on this action in the video). This action is initiated by engaging the deep core muscle called transversss abdominis.
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    TRANSITIONING FROM THE GROUND TO WILD THING

    After all of this, it is now your time to bask in the shine of this delightful backbend. Now there is the desired expansion, the extension, the confidence that you are safe in this posture, and most importantly the desired health of your spine in this delightful backbend.

    If King Cobra is not quite on the menu yet, click here to build the foundation with Matt’s 3 Part Cobra. Keep in mind, you will also explore this 3 Part Cobra in Matt’s next immersion: Anatomy in Motion

    See you on the mat!

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    Article by Trish Curling

    Video Extracted From: Mobility Immersion

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    12 Online Yoga classes to Learn Anatomy

    ANATOMY IN MOTION

    APRIL 2022 Immersion

    • Embody Anatomy
    • Learn Key Muscles, Bones and Joints
    • Visualize Your Movements Internally
    • Improve Proprioception
    • Sensation Based Practices
    • Unlock and Strengthen Majory Muscle Groups
    • Active, Passive, & Isomentric Stretching
    • Improve Mobility and Stability
    • Get VERY Geeky

    $168.00

     

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