This asana tones up the waist, back and hip joints. It is particularly useful for removing spinal stiffness. Though it is a simple asana, the mere relaxation and swinging movement of the upper part of the body induces a wonderful feeling of lightness. In fact, we feel this asana can be used to remove physical and mental tension when you have little time to spare. Also, if you have been sitting or standing in one position for a long period of time, you will more than likely feel very stiff. This is an excellent asana for quickly and effectively removing this stiffness.


The word tiryaka means 'triangular' or 'diagonal', and bhujanga means 'cobra'. The word tiryaka is used here for two good reasons. Firstly, because in the final pose one gazes over the shoulder diagonally across the back of the body at the heel on the opposite side. Secondly, because one gazes over each shoulder in turn at the heels, the direction of the gaze from each shoulder forms two sides of a triangle, while the width between the shoulders forms the base or third side of the triangle. However, this is a bit complicated for translation, especially if you try to associate it with a cobra. One English name of this asana is the 'twisting cobra pose'.

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