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#PowerPose 25 – Śalabhāsana

Śalabhāsana or Locust pose is the PowerPose focus this week.  This pose helps activate the muscles of the back, creating strength through the core. The strong back and leg action in this pose will help build to our peak pose in a couple of weeks, stay tuned!

Locust is also great for battling one of my least favorite things… poor posture.  A slumping body, with shoulders rolling forward, and the tailbone sagging under can cause misalignment of the spine and unnecessary compression of the vital organs.  Over time the body takes a sad, energy draining shape, and the organs are unable to perform effectively.  Promoting good posture, positively changes your outward appearance, inviting confidence and stature.  It also creates an internal energy of life and expansion.

Try these variations to explore Locust pose:

IMG_1775Option 1:  Hands and Feet Grounded – Come to your belly, reach the legs long and press the tops of the feet into the mat.  Reach the hands toward the heels, palms facing up, and press the backs of the hands into the mat.  Lengthen the spine and reach the heart forward as you pull the shoulder heads broad.  As the head and gaze lift, keep the face and forehead relaxed.

IMG_1777Option 2:  Float the Hands – First lift the heart, shoulders, and head.  Lift the belly toward the spine and then float the hands away from the floor.  Hug the hands and arms toward the midline of the body, keeping the back broad.  Extend the body just a little longer with each inhale.  Soften the glutes and shoulders with each exhale.

IMG_1780_2Option 3:  Float the Hands and Feet – Reach the tailbone long toward the heels, then lift the feet, reaching the legs long more than reaching them high.  Bring the big toes together to touch and spread the toes.  Hug the thighs and shins together.  Keep the activation in the upper body as you create a long line of energy from the crown of the head to the toes.

IMG_1783Option 4:  Clasp the Hands – Before lifting, clasp the hands behind the back, keeping the heels of the hands together.  This will help to strengthen the wrists.  If needed, bend the elbows to keep the heels of the hands together, then reach the arms long.   Lift the heart, shoulders, head, and feet.  With each variation, the pose becomes more challenging, but the breath should not change.  If you find the breath becomes labored as you increase the challenge of the pose, go back to a previous variation and focus on keeping the breath long and full.

For additional motivation in Śalabhāsana, just imagine your mom or grandma reminding you to stand up straight.  Follow this #PowerPose challenge @suzannewrightyoga on Instagram or at Suzanne Wright Yoga on Facebook.  If you post your pictures or about your experience be sure to tag #PowerPose and @suzannewrightyoga.

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