Sphinx pose / Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx pose is a great backbend - which I often use in my class.

For those who have back pain, sphinx lengthens the spine but not in a dramatic way so that you don’t go straight from the lumbar. The thing to remember in sphinx, lift the chest, keep the shoulders down, soften the face, root down the tailbone.


  1. Lying down on your front, make sure you root down your tailbone, activate your core to slide your hands out so that you are on your forearms.

  2. Make sure your fingers are spread out and check your arms are parallel and straight.

  3. On an inhalation, press your forearms into the floor and lift your head and chest off the floor.

  4. Press your public bone down to the mat and engage your legs. See if you can roll your outer thighs toward the mat to give some space to your lower back.

  5. Drop your shoulder blades down your back and draw your chest forward. Lengthen your tailbone toward your heels.

  6. Let your face and eyes soften (can you find pleasure and ease?). Draw your chin toward the back of your neck.

  7. Hold for up to 5 breaths finding a place of ease.

  8. To release, exhale as you slowly lower your torso, chest, and head to the floor. Relax your arms at your sides.

  9. Turn your head to the side and rest quietly.

  10. You may want to take it to Childs pose if you want to give you lower back a counterpose.

yoga poseAmanda King