LOCUST POSE (Shalabhasana)

   

Contraindications: Recent or chronic back or legs injuries, pregnancy, recent abdominal surgery.

How to perform: For this pose you might want to pad the floor below your pelvis and ribs with a folded blanket. Lie on the belly, with chin on the floor, legs together or hip-width apart and arms alongside the body, with palms up. Turn the big toes toward each other to inwardly rotate the thighs. On inhalation lengthen the legs, stretch toes away from the torso, pull up kneecaps, squeeze buttocks and slowly lift the legs upwards. The upper body can be moderately lifted to counterbalance the weight. Hold the pose as long as you can, while maintaining full breathing. Release down on exhalation.

Do not strain the lower back - the effort should be spread over the whole length of the back. Do not tense the shoulders - keep the upper body quite passive.

Do keep knees straight and big toes turned towards each other, and continue to lengthen neck and spine.

What if... I can't get my legs up? Do the pose lifting the legs alternately off the floor: first hold the right leg up, then the left leg.

Benefits: Strongly strengthens the entire back, buttocks and hamstrings. Tones the sciatic nerves and often relieves backaches. Stimulates the endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems.

  
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