The Cobra pose has the same benefits as the Sphinx pose. It strengthens the back muscles and provides a strong backbend to the spine, opening the chest, shoulders and abdomen which all tend to get closed during cycling.
How to do the pose:
- Start by lying on your front
- Bring the hands just forwards of the shoulders, elbows in towards the side ribs
- Strengthen the legs and press the tailbone down towards the floor
- As you inhale press into the hands and lift the upper chest and ribs away from the floor, extending the chest forwards
- Continue pressing into the hands until the abdomen comes away from the floor, keep the hips down
- Draw the heart and lungs forwards and soften your shoulders down away from the ears
- Keep the lower belly slightly firm. Stay for 5 breaths then slowly release back down
- Repeat 3 or 4 times.
- To get more into the upper back try pushing back into Childs pose from Cat Pose.
What to watch out for:
- It's really tempting to lift the shoulders up to get the arms to straighten - try to avoid doing this and be happy to have the elbows slightly bent
- Pay attention to how the body feels doing this pose and if you feel any pinching or pain then release off straight away.
Our instructor is Polly Clark; yoga teacher and founder of Mountain Yoga Breaks who offer weekends combining mountain biking and yoga in the beautiful Welsh countryside.