Strengthens the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and back.
Improves spinal mobility.
Opens up the chest.
Stretches the abs.
Can help to alleviate pain in between the shoulder blades.
Lie face down on the mat with your hands underneath your shoulders. Hug your arms close to your sides—elbows point straight up.
Bring your legs about hip-width apart and press the tops of your feet into the mat. Check that your heels point straight up.
Inhale, press into your palms and lift your head and chest off the mat. Exhale, draw your shoulders back and broaden across your collarbones.
Look straight ahead so as not to compress the back of your neck.
Stay in the pose for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
Take a deep breath in. Exhale, lower back down to the mat. Rest your left cheek on the mat, bring your arms by your sides, palms facing up, and rock your hips from side to side a few times to release your lower back.
MODIFICATION: Baby Cobra
Depending on the flexibility of your spine, you may only be able to lift your chest up a few inches without crunching your lower back. The crucial thing is to draw your shoulders away from your ears. Baby Cobra is great for beginners and for strengthening the lower back.
Avoid this pose if you have a wrist or shoulder injury.