Starting position is on the abdomen with the legs together. Bring the forehead to the ground. Place the hands flat on the floor, palms downward, directly beneath the respective shoulders. The fingertips should be in line with the tops of the shoulders. Elbows should be bent, pointing upwards slightly and in towards the body. Point the toes, keep the shoulders away from the ears. Keep the legs together.
Visualising the smooth, graceful motion of the snake, inhale and begin to roll the head up and back. The nose will lift up, then the chin. Pushing the hands into the floor, raise your head and chest off the ground. Arch the upper body up and back, vertebra by vertebra. Raise the body little by little so that you bend the vertebrae one by one and the pressure travels downwards from the cervical, dorsal and lumbar areas and lastly to the sacrum. Keep your hips and legs on the ground. Elbows remain slightly bent. Shoulders are down, back and away from the ears. Look upwards, pull the shoulder blades close together and keep the feet together.
Breathe comfortably as you hold the position. The chest is pushing forward, the head and shoulders are arched back. Always make sure that it is the strength of the neck and upper back muscles that holds you in the position, rather than that of the arms. Beginners hold the position for about 10 seconds; more advanced students will gradually increase the period for up to 1 minute.
Take a deep breath and then exhale as you roll slowly out of the posture. Uncurl your back first, keeping your head back until last and end up with your forehead on the ground.
Repeat this 2 – 3 times and then relax on the abdomen.