Niralamba Bhujangasana: For strengthening of the spine and shoulders

By Atul Vyas

The shoulder allows the greatest range of movements of any joint in the body. This is largely due to the complex array of muscles that constantly adjust the alignment of the bones. There are two types of muscles in the shoulder: phasic muscles that move the shoulder blades and maintain posture, and small rotator cuff muscles that move the arm.

Most shoulder joint problems stem from the fact that the muscles that move humerus are short compared to the length of the bone. Even the largest deltoid only inserts halfway down the humerus. In order to work efficiently, therefore, the muscles need to operate at their best possible angle of pull.

To achieve this, the head of the humerus must maneuver around the socket of the shoulder joint. If these accessory movements are lost for any reason, the muscles cannot work efficiently, and tendons will be strained and become inflamed. This pain could be due to poor posture, due to weak muscles, osteoarthritis or due to nerve pinching in the neck.

There are many yogic poses that help in relieving shoulder pain.  One of them is Niralamba Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose without support of palms. It’s a variation of cobra pose in which hands are held back with fingers of both hands interlocked and stretched back with elbows locked.



  • Lie on the belly with legs extended
  • Take hands back and interlock fingers
  • Raise head and shoulders up from ground inhaling and stretching hands towards toes
  • Once in pose, breath normally, stay for five seconds and come back to normal
  • Repeat for three times



  • Strengthens the muscles of middle and upper back
  • Relieves tension in shoulders neck and upper back and elongates and strengthens and tones the spine
  • Improves posture
  • Makes muscles of the shoulders strong
  • Helps in regulating thyroid glands secretion
  • Relieves constipation

Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.

Images courtesy of The New Indian Express and Provided

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