Shammi's Yogalaya

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Purna Shalabhasana (Locust)

Method

Step 1: Lie down on your abdomen with your hands resting by the side of your body; keep your legs together; your knees, toes and heels are touching each other; palms are facing the ceiling.

Step 2: Move your respective palms under your respective thighs in such a way that your right thigh is resting against your right palm and left thigh is resting against the left palm; stretch your chin on the floor.

Step 3: Exhale, tuck your tummy in and press your abdominal region down on the floor by contracting your hips in; inhale and while inhaling, raise both your legs up in the air; make sure that lower abdomen is in complete contact with the floor and body is not tilting to one side; try to keep both the legs straight specially at the knee; breathing will be tiresome but do not hold your breath; hold the posture for half a minute with normal breathing; exhale and rest your legs on the floor; perform three rounds.

Step 4: As a variation, you can also stretch both the hands above your head on the floor, press your palms firmly on the floor and then raise both the legs up with inhalation; to make it more challenging, stretch your toes as far as possible from body and then raise upper part of your body including your head and your chest off the floor; hold the posture as per your comfort and release. You may repeat 3 – 5 times.

Step 5: As another variation to this, interlock your fingers at your back; place the interlocked fingers on the small of the back; inhale and while inhaling, raise your legs and head up in the air; whole body is balancing on your abdomen; maintain the posture with normal breathing and relax.

Step 6: In yet another variation, you can stretch your hands sideways close to your body; press your palms on the floor; inhale and while inhaling, raise upper part of your body and legs off the floor and simultaneously raise your hands off the floor and keep it stretched at the back – a little away from body; the posture looks like a flying airplane; maintain the balance on the lower abdomen with normal breathing.

Step 7: To add another variation, interlock your fingers and place it at the back of your head; inhale and while inhaling, raise upper part of your body off the floor; simultaneously raise both the legs off the floor; keep moving your elbows at the back; make sure you are not pressing your neck with your interlocked fingers; hold this position with normal breathing as per your comfort

Benefits

  • As the legs are raised up, the muscle tone and vigour of the lower lumbar region muscles are improved due to the contraction of these muscles. The increased tone of the lumbar muscles becomes handy for the asthma patient as well, relieving him/her from the lumbar pain on the one hand and preparing him/her for abdominal breathing on the other.
  • Improves digestion & excretion; deals with acidity.

Contraindications

  • Persons with acute troubles at the lumbar region and the lower abdomen, hernia, appendix etc. should not perform this asana. All the movements should take place smoothly in a controlled manner without any jerk.
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