The «snake» is an excellent movement for beginners of yoga as well as for all those who have inflexible spines. (Unless you can touch your chest to your thighs, and also feel comfortable in the Cobra, you can use more flexibility in your spine). From the «relaxed standing position» let your head fall back, and while keeping it back begin to lower the torso towards the legs. Begin your movement from the lower back and keep the chest and head up until you are almost completely down, then let the head drop forward and relax. Exhale as you go down. Then on the inhalation begin to lift the back from the waist first, letting the chest, shoulders, head and arms hang loosely downward until you are almost completely up. Then allow them to come up and back as a part of a natural movement.
The resulting movement should be flowing, graceful, relaxed, slow and in rhythm to the breath. It will resemble the movement of a whip being snapped in slow motion.
Make this movement at least three times and up to as many times as you like. (You may like to make this movement to some slow, relaxing music).
Contraindications: Serious lower back problems, hernia, High blood pressure, detached retina
Benefits: This movement is an invaluable preparation for all of the other asanas concerning the spine. It flexes and gently massages all of the vertebrae, increasing the nervvous and pranic flow throughout the body. Also it creates a sense of rhythmical movement within us.