Locust II

This posture, which is another variation of shalabhasana, also teaches the two sides of the body how to work independently of one another. Many back problems are due to imbalances in the muscle system on each side of the spine. Health professionals often call this situation an asymmetrical problem. Locust II helps bring your back into symmetry again and also improves your coordination.

The following steps get you on the road to enjoying these benefits:

1. Lie on your abdomen with your legs spread at hip width and the tops of your feet on the floor; rest your forehead on the floor.

2. Extend your right arm forward with your palm resting on the floor; bring your left arm back along the left side of your torso, with the back of your hand on the floor as shown in Figure 11-5a.

Figure 11-5:

This posture balances the muscles on each side of your back.

Figure 11-5:

This posture balances the muscles on each side of your back.

3. As you inhale, slowly raise your chest, head, right arm, and left leg up and away from the floor as high as is comfortable for you.

Try to keep the upper right arm and ear in alignment, and raise your left foot and right hand to the same height above the floor (see Figure 11-5b).

4. As you exhale, lower your right arm, chest, head, and left leg slowly to the floor at the same time.

5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 three times and then stay in Step 3 for 6 to 8 breaths.

6. Repeat Steps 1 through 5 with opposite pairs (left arm and right leg).

Locust II features some interesting biomechanics. When you raise the chest and the right arm, you strengthen the right side of your upper back. When you raise the left leg, you strengthen the right side of your lower back. So even though this posture uses opposite arms and legs, it strengthens one side of the upper and lower back at a time.

Avoid locust variations that lift just the legs. Lifting the legs alone increases interabdominal and chest pressure, heart rate, and tension in the neck.

Lessons In Gnagi Yoga

Lessons In Gnagi Yoga

This book is a beautiful explanation of Yogi Philosophy. Everything about Hindu philosophy for the non-Eastern reader. It talks about nature, forces and reason. The Yogi Philosophy and its several branches or fields are presented with great detail.

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