Shalabhasana - The Locust
Starting Position: Lie on the abdomen
Concentration: on the muscles of the legs and back and the Manipura Chakra
Breath: coordinated with the movement and held in the position
Repetitions: 1–3 times
Practice: Lying on the abdomen place the chin on the floor or, if it is more comfortable, turn the head to the side and lay one cheek on the floor. >Place the arms under the abdomen. The hands are under the thighs with palms facing down. >Inhaling press the palms against the floor, keep the legs straight and raise them as high as possible. >Holding the breath remain in this position as long as comfortable. Exhaling return to the starting position.
Initially, practice the Asana three times holding each repetition briefly. After practicing this way for some time begin to extend the practice by holding the posture for a few minutes with normal breathing.
Variation: Extend the arms in front with palms facing down. The chin rests on the floor. >Inhaling raise arms, legs, upper body and head from the floor. The body weight rests on the abdomen. >Retain the breath and hold the position. >Exhaling slowly return to the starting position.
Benefits: Balances the Manipura Chakra. Develops self-confidence and invigorates the body. Is beneficial for depression. The internal organs are stimulated and the body’s acid-base balance is regulated. Kidney function is stimulated. The leg, pelvic and back muscles are strengthened. Encourages good posture and a slim figure.
Caution: This exercise should not be practiced with advanced arthritis of the hips or with pain in the lumbar spine. People with high blood pressure, glaucoma or a weak heart should avoid retaining the breath or holding the posture.