Salabhasana (Locust pose)
This simple back arch strengthens the outer muscles of the back and, when done correctly, is useful in correcting slipped discs. Learn to come up and down with lightness, grace and a sense of effortlessness.
1. Lie on the floor, face down.
2. Extend your arms back, alongside the trunk, with the palms turned up. Separate your feet hip-width apart and stretch your toes back. Bring the tops of the feet onto the floor.
3. Stretch your sternum forward, pull your shoulders back and spread your collarbones. Notice now that your chest is open and the front of the pelvis tends to lift off the floor.
4. Keeping your chest open, press the pelvis into the floor and observe how the sacrum (the wide, triangular-shaped bone that sits below your lower back) moves toward the front of the body.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Gary Higashida in the salabhasana, or locust pose.
5. Now, with an inhalation, smoothly lift the chest and thighs off the floor so that the body balances on the navel. Keep your chest open and collarbones broad as you look up with soft eyes. Keep your shoulder blades down away from the ears and the back of the neck soft.
6. Hold for a few seconds and come down as you exhale. Repeat several times. While holding the pose, work to lift your thighs and chest to the same height so that there is an even extension and smooth, gentle bow shape to the pose. Stretch your inner legs through to the big toes and bring your feet together. Pay attention to the flow of breath. Do not hold your breath while in the pose.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.