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    Salabasana: "Locust Pose"

    Last updated 5 days ago

    Benefits:

    The second of the four spine strengthening poses focuses on the upper back strength. Upper back strength includes postural muscles that help keep the shoulders, neck, and chest in proper placement. Developing these muscles in the upper back help to keep the carriage of the body in optimal health.

     

    Technique:

    Lying on your belly, bring your chin forward to lengthen your neck. Flip your palms down to face the floor and bring both of your arms, straight as possible, under your body. Lift your hips to help facilitate the tightest position of your arms underneath your body – try to get your elbows to touch! With your arms underneath you, spread your fingers as wide as you can to cover the most amount of space with your hands.

    Relax your left leg completely. Stretch your right leg long behind you and lift it up to the ceiling. Try to lift your right leg to a 45-degree angle. Keep your right leg absolutely straight as you try to lift it to this angle. Point your toes and make sure your right hip is still touching your right forearm. This checkpoint will guarantee your hip stay aligned, and therefore you will work the correct muscles. Keep the lifted leg strong and straight and energized for the whole 10 seconds of this posture.

    Use your wide-finger grip to press into the mat and towel beneath you, energizing your arms to help stabilize you. This will help you lift your leg higher.

    Slowly lower the right leg, relax it, and start the other side.

    After you have lifted each leg individually for 10 seconds each, tuck your chin to your throat and bring your mouth to your mat and towel. Make sure the back of your neck stays long and open through the rest of the posture.

    Energize your arms and press the palms forcefully into the floor. Feels the arms engage and you lift BOTH LEGS up towards the ceiling, trying to reach that 45-degree angle. This is infinitely harder, but worth the effort! Both legs lifting will take all the effort and focus you have…but it’s only for 10 seconds! Keep your mouth down, arms and hands pressing into the floor beneath you, and your legs together, straight, and strong. After 10 seconds, slowly lower the legs and roll your arms out from underneath you.

     

    The Goods:

    In this 3-part pose, we use the weight of each leg to help strengthen the upper back. First, we use each leg individually, and then we challenge our strength to lift both legs together. When we engage our arms to help find the strength to lift our legs, we bring more blood flow to the upper back muscles. Because our arms are “stuck” underneath the body, this position forces proper circulation exactly to the spots we intend it to go.  When the upper back is strong, the lower back receives a lot less pressure. With upright posture, we naturally extend the length of the spine and allow for optimal space for the vital organs of the body to function with efficiency and ease.

     

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    11 years…Wow…How time flies!  Especially while you’re enjoying the whole journey from start to present.  I joined the Hot Yoga 4 You family 11 years ago and I have not looked back.  I absolutely love the 90 and 60 minute classes.  Both classes challenge us in different ways which has been phenomenal.  Personally speaking, this practice and the studio has been such an addition to my life on both a physical and spiritual level.   From the physical standpoint, I’ve been a professional fitness instructor for over 20 years.  Needless to say, that involves countless hours of stress on my body that requires healing and injury prevention.   From the very first week of starting this practice and entering the studio, I’ve never felt better and more motivated from the instructors.  Each and every one of them has a unique style and brings something different to the table that I still learn from to this day.   I’m thrilled with my practice and the results I’ve achieved.  Improved strength and endurance, increase in lean muscle, improved respiration, are among just a few of the overall health benefits I have gained from this yoga practice.  Lastly, I never thought  I would live to see the day when I could do a standing split or hold “standing forehead to knee” for over a full minute!  A true testament to Hot Yoga 4 You. 

    Over time and with consistency, the spiritual level of this yoga prevailed.  I’ve learned to have a deeper appreciation for living in the present moment and having that self-discipline to get through the most challenging class.  More importantly, I can take this improved concentration and focus with me outside the classroom to handle the everyday stresses of life. 

    Congratulations on 11 years of success!  I look forward to celebrating another 11 years with you along the way!

    Carolyn Mellace

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