Monday, October 13, 2014

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Half Locust Pose

Lift into Ardha Shalabhasana, Half Locust Pose in order to strengthen the core and bring strength and stability to the low-back, the lumbar spine. Ardha Shalabhasana is traditionally done as one of the Bikram series of 26 poses. If properly warmed-up, you can practice the pose in order to strengthen the core and the legs, while resisting gravity.

Cobra Pose
Move into Cobra, Bujangasana, as a preparatory pose in order to warm up the spine. Access instructions for Cobra pose on CCN here.

To do Ardha Shalabhasana, Half Locust Pose: Start by lying down on the belly. Option to use
a blanket for support under the hips. Shimmy the hips from side to side as you bring the palms
under the hips, face down, thumbs in and pinkies out. Option to use a blanket in between the
hips and palms for support. Spread the fingers wide. Create a wide foundation with the palms.

Walk the fingers closer towards the feet and walk the pinkies in closer towards each other.
Anchor the hips downward, pressing the hips into the wrists and pressing the wrists downward
into the ground.

On an inhale breath, lift and lengthen the right leg. Shift your weight towards the shoulders to gain more lift and length in the lifted leg. Point the toe. Keep the gaze down in order to lengthen the back of the neck. Firm the shoulder blades, the
core and the legs. Stay here for 3-5 breaths.

Slowly release the right leg down and rest for a moment. Relax the chin on the mat as you accentuate the inhale and exhale with an open mouth. Take the same mindful actions on the opposite leg.

After lifting one leg at a time, walk the palms further down towards the feet in order to shift more weight towards the shoulders. Walk the pinkies in closer together, creating a wider foundation.

Gaze down. On an inhale breath, lift and lengthen both legs. Anchor the hips down and press the palms down in order to lift and lengthen more through the legs. Shift more weight towards
the shoulders. Firm the shoulder blades, the core and the legs.

Breathe and stay here for 3-5 full rounds of breath (one inhale and one exhale equals one round.) Create long and even breaths. Notice if the breath is choppy and notice the sensations in the body. Work to bring a balance of ease and effort into the body by utilizing the breath.

Slowly lower the legs. Release the palms from under the hips. Pump the palms by opening and closing the fingers, bringing fresh blood flow back to the joints, the wrists and elbows. Option to
take one more round of half locust, lifting both legs simultaneously.

Rest on the belly, bringing the left ear to the ground. Feel the rise and fall of the back on each inhale and exhale. Stay resting on the left ear for a few breaths. Change and bring the right ear to the ground. Stay resting on the right ear for a few breaths. Bring balance and a calm, natural breath back into the body. Notice how you feel. Yoga can help to bring balance back into the body and the mind, as well as help to make necessary changes into your life.

 Half Locust Pose is a challenging posture but it brings opportunities to invite something new into your life. Make small changes in your daily routine in order to help overcome times of challenge, transitions, and perhaps moments when you may feel “stuck” or like you’ve plateaued.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques.

Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Namaste,
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact christi@inrhythmsyoga.com for more info.

IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues.
evening class. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full schedule, instructors and for
private lessons.

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