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Shape Shifting

Feb 25, 2019

Years ago i had a dream which took me to Cronulla library, I got the book out and it was about shape-shifting. I was totally amazed by it!

We shape-shift every day, as we draw on certain qualities that are required in everyday life. We have obligations and responsibilities to which we must perform. There are certain situations in life where we know when to smile, when to be sympathetic, when to comfort or when to have a good belly laugh – it’s all shape-shifting!

We very quickly change who we are in relationships with responses to personalities and emotions partners/husbands/wives/siblings/children/friends/work colleagues environment – home/work/play

The dynamic of who we are is forever changing, we are shape-shifting to fit the experience.

Shape-shifting our form in YOGA POSES

In yoga, we create shapes with our bodies -we shape shift, and the yoga pose we’re going to detail is Cobra.


We try to initiate strength from our legs/gluts/core and back to lift the upper body. A cobra lifts up onto it’s tail to strike.

  • How do we strike this pose?
  • Where is our strength coming from?
  • Is it when we hunch up on our shoulders and hang off them?
  • Or would it be from engaging the lower half of the body?
  • We shape shift to create the pose.
  • If you were asked to get up as quickly as you could from this pose without injuring your back or body the engaged pose would be more efficient and less stressful on the joints in the body.

Let’s go into Cobra in some more detail

This will protect your back and give you more strength in the pose.

Tips and guidelines for Cobra:

  1. Begin laying on your front
  2. Legs straight out behind you and engaged
  3. Muscles of the legs engage – pull up on your thighs and the knees will activate and lift off the mat pulling up into the quadriceps
  4. You can tuck the tailbone
  5. Activate by squeezing the gluts and squeezing the inner thighs
  6. Hands beside the chest
  7. Shoulders may have some issues – so try and keep them down in the back, not riding up near your ears
  8. Raise the head, neck and chest so the trunk lifts away from the mat
    1. If your back is tight you will feel discomfort in the lower back
      1. Tuck the tailbone
      2. Lift the lower abdominal wall up to the spine
      3. Do not lift the body so high
      4. Project your chest forward creating length rather than lifting up
        1. Arms assisting lightly
        2. Hands can activate by pulling back towards the hips will help project the chest forward
      5. Make most of the work come from the body
      6. Could the pubic bone remain on the floor and the navel be raised 3cm off the mat
    2. The legs do not bend
    3. The flexibility of your spine depends on how high/low you are!
    4. It’s not about coming up high and doing a high plank with no curve
      1. NOTE to Self: If you know this is you – then please think about the benefits of doing the pose with connection to what you are shape- shifting into.


Physical Awareness: Can be on the breaths

  • Inhale to come up to the pose
  • Exhales to lower from the pose
  • Calm breaths when holding the pose

Spiritual awareness: On Swadhisthana chakra

Second chakra: on a deep level this relates to the collective and individual unconscious, the storehouse of past impressions as archetypes.


  • People suffering from peptic ulcer
  • Hernia
  • Intestinal tuberculosis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pregnancy


  • Can relocate slipped discs
  • Remove backache
  • Keeps the spine supple and healthy
  • Tones the nerves and that helps the transmission of impulses from the brain – communication is better
  • Tones the ovaries and uterus
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Alleviates constipation
  • Benefits all the abdominal organs
  • Especially the liver and kidney
  • Adrenal glands situated on top of the kidneys are massaged and stimulated to work more efficiently
  • Secretion of cortisone is maintained and thyroid gland is regulated
  • On a pranic level this pose has a strong effect on all the organs related to Swadhisthasana, Manipura, Anahata and Vishuddi chakras

Source: Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha 1997

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