Improving posture has never been a sexy topic among people. Most health conversations are usually about getting a six-pack and or losing weight. But so many individuals have low confidence, excruciating lower back pain, and other physical and emotional struggles just from having bad posture.
But there are methods to counteract this ailment. Sphinx Pose, also known as Salamba Bhujangasana, is a popular yoga movement that offers numerous benefits for the body and mind. This gentle backbend can help improve posture, relieve lower back pain, and increase flexibility. It’s a great pose for those who sit for long periods of time or have a sedentary lifestyle.
Let’s dive into the benefits of Sphinx Pose and how to properly perform it.
How to Perform Sphinx Pose
To perform the Sphinx Pose properly, follow these steps:
- Start by laying face down on the floor.
- Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your palms are pressing the floor.
- Press your forearms into the ground and lift your chest and head off the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down.
- Gently tilt your chin upwards and gaze forward.
- Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, breathing deeply.
- To release the pose, slowly lower your chest and head back down to the floor.
Benefits of Sphinx Pose
Improves posture: Sphinx Pose gently stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen, which can help improve posture over time. By opening up the front of the body, the pose encourages a more upright and natural spinal alignment.
Relieves lower back pain: Sphinx Pose can also help relieve lower back pain by gently extending the muscles in the lower back. For most people, their spinal alignment is in a flexed state, i.e. slouching in a chair, looking down at their phones. Over time this proclivity has been shown to increase lower back pain. Regularly practicing Sphinx Pose counters that.
Increases flexibility: As a backbend, Sphinx Pose can help increase flexibility in the spine, chest, and shoulders. This can help improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
Calms the mind: Sphinx Pose can help calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on your breathing and the motion of your body during the movement.
Tips for a Safe and Effective Sphinx Pose
- Make sure to keep your elbows directly under your shoulders to avoid straining the neck or shoulders.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and down to avoid hunching or tensing the upper back.
- Avoid forcing the stretch and listen to your body. If you feel any pain or discomfort, back off and come out of the pose.
- Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the pose, focusing on the sensations in your body.
- Practice Sphinx Pose regularly to experience the full benefits.
How to Modify Sphinx Pose
If the level of your back pain is intense and you’re finding difficulty performing the sphinx pose, there are a couple of ways to modify the pose to make it more accessible.
Lots of stiffness or soreness in your neck and shoulders could make the sphinx pose challenging. Also if you are pregnant or have just suffered physical trauma to your abdomen, modifications will be needed for you.
- Add a pillow under your elbows for additional support.
- Stand close to the wall, and mimic the back-bending posture you would have if you did the pose on the floor. Having someone support you by placing their hands on your lower back is great for added safety and allows you to be more comfortable in this position.
As you begin to progress you can move into a deeper back-bending yoga pose like the cobra, locust, or bow pose.
In conclusion, Sphinx Pose is a gentle yet effective exercise that can help improve posture, relieve lower back pain, increase flexibility, and calm the mind.
Incorporate this pose into your daily routine to experience the full benefits. Remember to always listen to your body and practice safely and mindfully.
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No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinicians.
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