Cobra vs. Upward Dog (Bhujangasana vs. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
1. Cobra pose is a more modified beginner pose and is a great pose for lower back pain, injury and strength-building. Upward dog is a more advanced pose that involves strength and flexibility to be in proper form! I always love to encourage people to lower all the way to the ground in vinyasa and take a cobra before flowing right into a full upward facing dog!
2. In upward facing dog your entire body is lifted off the ground! Most people don't realize that your legs cannot be on the ground and that you're pulling through with your chest. This involves strong activation through the core and legs! In cobra pose, your legs stay on the ground while your inner thighs roll upwards to keep your legs from splaying out. Practicing this motion helps you build up to your upward facing dog!
3. In cobra pose, your hands are out in front of your shoulders and your arms stay bent! (you actually should be able to lift your hands off the ground and stay in the pose!) in upward facing dog, your wrists are stacked under your shoulders and your arms are straight (never lock your elbows though!)
COBRA = MODIFIED
UPWARD DOG = ADVANCED
The two poses have many similarities: chest leads. Neck long. Shoulders relaxed. Press into the tops of your feet. Engage your thighs. Relax your booty.