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Level 5

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.

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