‘Shalabha’ is the Sanskrit word for locust. ‘Shalabh-asana’ is so called because, while performing it, the body assumes a posture which resembles a locust. When this asana is practised with one leg, it is called ‘Ardha Shalabhasana’.
- Lie on the stomach with the face down on the ground.
- Stretch both the arms beside the body and clench the fists lightly.
- The hands can also be placed under the thighs.
- Inhale and retain the breath till the completion of the asana.
- Pull the body and raise either of the legs by about 30 cms off the ground.
- Raise the leg as high as possible. St etch the soles of the feet.
- Hold this position for five to thirty seconds.
- Then slowly bring the leg down on the ground.
- Exhale very slowly. Repeat this exercise with the other leg.
- This asana can be repeated six to seven times.
Advantages of Ardha Shalabhasana:
- As far as the spinal bend is concerned, this asana is inverse to Pashchimottasana. This asana gives twist backwards to the spine.
- Bhujangasana develops the (half) upper part of the trunk, while Shalabhasana develops the remaining lower part of the trunk.
- It is very useful in extricating waste matter accumulated in the intestines.
- It cures lumbar pain and reduces excessive fat formed around the knees, the thighs, the waist and the abdomen.
- It gives good exercise to the abdomen. The kidney, the liver, etc. become active. It strengthens the ovary.
- It cures constipation, gas-trouble, indigestion, dysentery, acidity and other abdominal disorders.
- The practice of this asana counters tendencies to piles. It removes the aches of the soles of the feet and cures the disease of the appendix.