Ardha Shalabhasana , Ardha Salabhasana, Half Locust
Ardha Shalabhasana is not a posture mentioned in any ancient text but one which has been invented to make the practice of Shalabhasana easier. It is a practice to reach Shalabhasana.
How to perform Ardha Shalabhasana
Lie on your belly on your mat with your arms straight next to your body and your forehead on the ground. The soles of your feet point upwards. With inhalation you bring your head up and place your chin on the ground. Look straight and exhale.
With the next inhalation you bring your right leg up straight without bending your knee or your ankles. Don’t twist or rotate your hip, just lift the leg. Keep the rest of your body steady, straight and overall relaxed.
Hold your leg up for some seconds, as long as you can hold it up without straining your muscles too much, then place it slowly back on the floor. Lift the other leg in the same way.
Variation of Ardha Shalabhasana – Lifting one Arm and one Leg
To get an even better effect of workout, you can bring both of your arms over your head to the front. When you now lift your right leg into the air, also lift your left arm straight up. Hold it for some seconds, put it down and change to the left leg and right arm.
Benefits of Ardha Shalabhasana
Ardha Shalabhasana is an exercise for old and young! It efficiently prevents different kind of back pain and can even help in cases of lower and middle back pain. Especially when the complete practice of Shalabhasana is not recommended, Ardha Shalabhasana can often be an alternative as it puts less pressure on your back.
Of course this yoga exercise also tones your legs by strengthening the front and back of your thighs and your calves as well as your pelvic muscles. This reduces extra fat from your thighs while it builds up muscles. Another benefit is that you can even reduce cellulite from your hips and thighs!
Ardha Shalabhasana is a yoga pose that is not only good for your muscles but also for your intestines! It stimulates the kidneys and the liver and is good for women’s ovaries and men’s prostate glands.
Practice of this yoga posture helps against constipation, indigestion. The main benefit here is that it helps your digestive system to work normally. This means if you often suffer from diarrhea and practice this pose when you do not have diarrhea, you might reduce the occurrence of this problem. It also reduces acidity and gas in the intestines.
If you regularly practice Ardha Shalabhasana, you can save yourself from the problem of piles.
Stretch yourself completely from the tip of your finger until the tip of your toe. In this way you get the biggest benefit out of this pose.
Tips and Help
If you have pain in your hips because your mat is too hard or because of the pressure onto your hips, you can practice this pose by spreading a blanket above your mat and lie on top of that.
If you have neck pain or had an injury in the past, remember to keep your neck relaxed while practicing this yoga pose.
When to avoid Ardha Shalabhasana
If you suffer from back pain, please consult your doctor and yoga teacher before you start practicing this exercise.
You should not practice Ardha Shalabhasana, if you have stomach ulcer, colitis, hernia or lumbar spondylosis. Also in the case of headaches or cramps in the legs, it is best to avoid this yoga pose.
Pregnant women should avoid this yoga pose.