How to do the shifted cobra?

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

How to do the shifted cobra?

Postby Guest » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:32 pm

Has anyone tried the shifted Cobra. I don't seem to quite understand the instructions. What is meant by shift your hips 3 or 4 inches away from the side that is hurting? Does that mean elevate the hip 3 or 4 inches?


Postby Guest » Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:03 pm


I'm assuming you're doing the shifted cobra because there's pain or stiffness before you get your hips to the floor, right? As your hips are coming down level to the floor, just before the pain or stiffness usually begins, continue going down slowly, only on the side that doesn't hurt... and I think you'll find you can "wiggle" down further toward the floor. Though sometimes you don't even need to shift (or rotate your hips), just go down slower.

I had to do the shifted cobra for two months before I could do it "properly" ... and was really motivated to get flexible enough to bend repeatedly without pain ... being a normal male. So don't get discouraged if it takes a while to go all the way down without pain. But by all means, have fun and experiment as you hydrate those discs and flex out that scar tissue! :)

Postby Dean » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:43 am

Hi guys,

Guest #1: To do the shifted version, if you have pain in your left leg, you shift your hips slightly to the right. And vice versa, pain on the right side, shift to the left.

Guest #2: Your post has me totally confused. It sounds like you may be doing the classic yoga version - which is okay if it's working for you. In the version that I teach you start with your hips on the floor. I don't get the "wiggling to get down" part that you mention.


(Also, I hope you'll both register and get screen names. You can use an alias and it will make you more like part of the group. Posting as "Guest" is confusing and a little cold & impersonal. Trust me, we don't bite.)
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Postby randolph » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:35 pm

Yikes!! :oops: I'm an idiot!!

Not only did I forget to log in before posting (as guest 2), I haven't been doing the cobra right this last 2 months!

Is there a
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Postby Jeanette » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:40 pm

Hi Guest #1 and Randolph -- Dean beat me to a response. The shifted cobra is done with the pelvis flat to the floor. (Moyer; McKenzie)

I have to admit, though, for a long time I could not even lie prone without pain in my hip and down my leg, and the shifted pelvis made the pain worse. So Guest #1 you may want to go back to Dean's The Pain Relief Manual and review the back pain relief positions in Chapter 4. I especially found the "Leg Elevation" position on p. 122 (sometimes staying there as long as 30-40 minutes--put on some good music and relax :)) a good way to relieve pain which then allowed me to move into, at first, the stage 1 cobra and then onto the other stages and/or other exercises. Even now, depending on where it hurts or aches, I may have to start with the "leg elevation" position.

(Dean, with this position I've had more success with distinct 90 degree angles at the hips and knees, a strategy I picked up from Pete Egoscue's material.)

But, Guest #1, recognize that as you ease pain in one area, you may wake another, so be prepared to try something else when what you've been doing doesn't seem to work.

Good luck.

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Postby Dean » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:15 am

Hi Randolph and Jeanette,

Thanks for the input. It's good feedback like that that helps me see where I can make improvements.

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Postby Marilyn » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:23 am

Thanks everyone for the clarifications on the shifted Cobra. Jeanette, it sounds like we both have a very similar condition. I'll try your suggestions.

Also, my apologies. I've been very slow to catch onto how the posting on this listserv works -- also have not logged in and that's why I appear as guest. (Thanks Randolph for your post -- otherwise, I wouldn't have known why I came up as a guest.)

I'll try to get it right in the future.
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