Level 1: Beginner
Strengthens the back and spinal muscles, gluteal muscles, hip rotator muscles and inner thigh muscles.
Promotes stability in the sacrum and lumbar spine.
Encourages an opening across the chest, lessening tension in the sternum.
Stimulates the nervous system.
Contraindications/Cautions (consult your physician):
Any acute/chronic back or spinal injuries/inflammation.
Weak abdominal muscles/hernias.
Women: AVOID during pregnancy.
1). Relax prone (on your front) on the mat with either the forehead on the floor, or the head turned to one side. Have the arms down by the sides with palms facing the ground, and legs together.
2). Inhale to expand the chest, exhale and gently draw the abdomen back towards the spine.
3). Inhale and lift the legs and arms up off the ground, arms go straight back with palms facing the ground, legs are straight and wider with feet either pointed or flexed. Lengthen through the spine as you deepen the inhalation. Keep the gaze down and the neck neutral.
4). Exhale and lower back to the prone position in a controlled manner, release the posture. Rest.
5). Repeat steps 3 and 4, adding variations if possible.
For beginners who need to build their back strength before attempting lifting both legs and arms:
You can start by just lifting the legs on the inhalation, and keeping the arms grounded.
You can also do the opposite and ground through the hips and just lift the arms up and back.
You can practice ARDHA SALABHASANA (half-locust) pose by keeping the arms grounded by the sides and lifting one leg at a time on the inhalation, lowering on the exhalation, and then repeating on the other leg.
- Use a folded blanket under the hips if required, or if you are on a decent surface you can roll you mat up for padding.
- When active in the posture squeeze your inner legs together and elongate through your fingers, drawing armpits down to activate the side body.