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Yoga Basics: your guide to the practice of yoga
Backbending Poses arrow Half Locust
ardha shalabhasana
Level of Difficutly: Beginning
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Instructions

1. Lie on your belly, with the chin on the floor, legs together and arms alongside the body, with the palms down.

2. Rock the hips from side to side to walk the arms underneath your body, so that the forearms are on the inside of the hip bones and the hands are under the thighs.

3. Inhale and lengthen the legs, reaching the toes away from your body. Pull up the knee caps, squeeze the buttocks and engage mula bandha. Press the arms down into the floor and slowly lift the legs up towards the ceiling.

4. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

5. To release: exhale and slowly lower the legs to the floor. Turn the head to one side, slide the arms out from under your body and rest.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Half Locust pose strongly strengthens the core body and the low back muscles. Locust stimulates the endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems.

Contraindictions: Recent or chronic injury to the back or legs, pregnancy and recent abdominal surgery.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a folded blanket under the hips or place a rolled up blanket or bolster under the thighs.

Variations: A) Make fists with the hands. B) Bring the arms palms down next to the sides of your body.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Cobra, Plank.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Full Locust, Cobra, Bow.