What is the sphinx stretch?

Sphinx pose is a gentle backbend that helps to open the chest, lungs and low back. Since sphinx is performed on the forearms, it takes the pressure off the wrists.

Set up

  1. Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extending behind you, hip-width apart. Keep your arms at your sides and your chin on the mat.

  2. Bring your arms up and rest your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor, parallel to each other.

  3. Press your forearms into the floor and lift your head and chest off the floor.


  1. Strengthens the spine. It warms the spine and helps to rebalance the natural curve of your lower back.

  2. Stretches chest, shoulders and the abdominal wall. Sphinx opens the chest and strengthens the core.

  3. Calms the mind. The stretch can be a relaxing move when it is performed properly.

Please do this pose with caution. Ask your physician or physical therapist if sphinx pose is okay for your back.

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