Ardha means half. Shalabhasana means locust. Locusts are known for their power, energy, and ability to take great leaps. The root word “shal” means suddenness, which refers to the rapid movement of the locust or grasshopper.
Benefits of Ardha Shalabhasana Pose
- Exercises the heart and circulatory system.
- Lowers blood pressure when practiced regularly.
- Stretches the hip flexors.
- People suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease may need to avoid this pose.
- Stroke victims may also need to avoid this asana — anything that increases pressure in the neck and head could be problematic.
- Prenatal students should avoid lying in a prone position.
- Lie prone on your stomach. Breathe into your belly. Notice the connection between the front side of your body and the earth.
- Place your arms and hands underneath your body with the palms facing down.The backs of your hands are under your pelvis with your fingertips pointing towards your feet.
- Keep the pelvis square and press it into your hands.
- Lift one leg at a time, reaching the toes away from the hip sockets.
- Feel the thigh subtly (almost energetically) rotating inward so that the knee is toward the mat.
- Make sure that your nose is grazing the mat and that your face and neck are parallel to the floor. Your weight is on your arms and torso, not on your neck or face.
- Lengthen your legs and lift them slowly upward.
- Reach out through your toes.
- Press the pubic bone and hip flexors into the mat to protect your lower back.
- Ensure that the neck does not bend and is an extension of the rest of the spine.
- Lower your head, chest, arms and legs to the earth on your next exhale.