Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

Last Updated:

Sphinx Pose, Salamba Bhujangasana, (sah-LOM-bah sar-van-GAHS-anna)

shambala (supported) + bhujanga (cobra) + āsana (pose)

Pose Type: Backbends, Sciatica, Back Pain

Difficulty: Beginner

Sphinx Pose

Feel powerful as you embody the mythical Sphinx with this gentle backbend.

Sphinx Pose Fundamentals

A gentle and supportive backbend, Sphynx Pose is a great entry-level backbend asana that can serve as a fantastic preparatory pose for deeper backends such as Cobra Pose.

Sphinx Pose can also be a great variation of Cobra Pose for those who suffer from any wrist or hand strains, pains, or injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. This pose takes all of the pressure off the wrists whilst still providing you will all the benefits of a Cobra or Baby Cobra Pose.

You can practice Sphynx Pose both actively or passively and enjoy the benefits of this chest and lung opener.

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing sphinx pose

sphinx Pose benefits

A relaxing pose for the shoulders and neck while strengthening the upper back. The sphinx pose:

  • Opens your chest and lungs
  • Helps to relieve stress

How To Do The sphinx Pose: Step-By-Step

1. Lay down on your belly and place your forearms in front of you, palms facing down and arms shoulder width apart.

2. Bring your elbows directly under your shoulders and your hands in line with your elbows.

3. Separate your feet to hip-width and press the tops of your feet down into the mat as you spread your toes wide.

4. Slide your chest forward and up while allowing the tops of your shoulders to soften down away from your ears as you relax your neck and jaw.

5. Hold the pose for 60 seconds or more and then slowly come out using your exhalation.

Cobra Pose

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Preparatory Poses

Baby Cobra Pose

Puppy Dog Pose

Crocodile Pose

Counter Poses

Child’s Pose

Embryo Pose

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.