Ardha Salabhasana (Half Locust Pose)

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How to do it

Begin on your stomach, hands on your lower back, feet hip distance apart.

Inhale: Lift your chest up sweeping your right arm forward and lifting your left leg up.

Exhale: Move down, placing your right cheek on the floor, hand on the lower back. Continue, alternating sides.

Repeat this movement several times and then stay in the pose.

Breathing in Ardha Salabhasana

Inhale: Lengthen from your belly into your chest and your extended arm lifting up higher. Keep your extended leg engaged.

Exhale: Anchor through your hips and lower your upper body and leg slightly.

TRICK: Be sure to keep your pelvis leveled. If you start leaning to one side, you will begin to loose the benefits of the pose and encourage compensatory mechanisms in your body.

Pose adaptations

One leg lift

Ardha Salabhasana: One leg lift is one the easiest versions of this pose, but it’s still very useful for strengthening the lower back on one side and engaging the glutes. It also helps to mobilize the neck. It’s a great introductory posture that teaches students proper technique in Ardha Salabhasana. It can be used as a jump off point for future explorations of this pose.

Mismatched arms

Ardha Salabhasana: Mismatched arms is great for strengthening the back and improving concentration. By mismatching the movement of your arms you are forced to pay closer attention to the position of your body parts and overall technique in this pose. It’s a great move for right-left brain integration.

One arm salute

Ardha Salabhasana: One arm salute targets the side of your neck and your shoulder. For some students, extending the arm all the way forward in Salabhasana is not easy and causes neck tension, so this version works much better.

Arms extended

Ardha Salabhasana: Arms extended is useful for warming your upper and lower back one side at a time. It is a good introductory posture, since your body stays supported by one arm and one leg at all times. Keeping one arm extended forward will engage the shoulder and one side of the neck. Most students will not be able to lift very high in this position, but they will still get some engagement in their upper and lower back.

Leg in-out

Ardha Salabhasana: Leg in-out works great for strengthening the relationship between your glutes and adductors/abductors. In this pose it is essential to keep your pelvis leveled and grounded and make sure that you don’t tense up your neck and shoulders.