What is the difference? Many students find it hard to understand the difference between these two asanas: Cobra (Bhujangasana) & Upward Facing Dog (Urdha Mukha Svanasana). If you practice in a large group sometimes the mistake is not even caught, but it makes a huge difference in your practice if you can remember that these two asanas are totally different. So, let us break them down.
Upward Facing Dog: With this asana two of the major differences are, your body only has to connection points with the mat; the Palms of your hands, and the tops of your feet. 1. The body should hover over the mat. 2. The weight of your body should be supported in the hands. 3. You should feel like you are pushing away from the mat. 4. Your arms should be locked, and completely engaged. 5. Their shoulders and hands should create a straight line from end to end. 6. Your gaze is upright (either the tip of your nose, or the ceiling, but not letting the head just fall back
With Cobra pose it is different from Upward Dog in your body is completely on the mat. 1. There is a connect with your legs, thighs, and pelvis to the mat. 2. Your weight is evenly distributed in a variety of locations throughout the body, whereas in upward dog your hands are carrying the weight. 3. Cobra is a backbend, so you should focus on the lower back, and surrendering into the mat so that you are able to lengthen up and engage the back into the bend. 4. There are many placements of your hands, but traditionally your hands are in front of your shoulders, with a slight bend in the elbows. Creating a slight boomerang look. (If you need a more intense Cobra the arms would stay straight under the shoulders) 5. Remember your elbows should be touching your ribs. 6. Your gaze is the same as Upward Dog
Hope these little tips help in your practice.