Bhujangasana II (Cobra Pose II) registers as 37* on BKS Iyengar’s 60* scale of difficulty in Light on Yoga.
In Bhujangasana II, you lay on your belly with knees bent, then lift your chest and clasp your knees with your hands. Then, you straighten your legs onto the floor. This pose requires both incredible back strength and incredible back flexibility. At this point in time, I don’t have enough of either to feel comfortable in the pose! So, instead I practice Bhujangasana I.
Iyengar explains that Bhujangasana II is a more intense version of Bhujangasana I and therefore has greater effects. While the effects of Bhujangasana II are certainly more potent given the depth of the pose, you can begin to taste the benefits of Bhujangasana II from the safety of Bhujangasana I – the lengthening of your spine, the opening of your chest and shoulders, and the strengthening of your back.
In these advanced poses, it’s important to remember that the pose’s benefits can often be accessed in a less intense variation. Savor the benefits of Bhujangasana from wherever you are in your practice.