Ardha Shalabhasana (Half Locust Pose)

This is much easier than shalabhasana and it gives almost the same benefits. Beginners should do this asana if they find shalabhasana too difficult.

Technique

Take the same starting position as given for shalabhasana. Close your eyes and relax your whole body. Breathe out deeply. Then breathe in deeply, retain the breath and raise your left leg. Both your left leg and right leg should remain straight throughout the asana.

Try to use your right leg as little as possible to help raise the left leg; let it relax.

Use the back muscles as much as possible, assisted by the arms to raise the left leg. Keep your chin stretched forwards on the ground, and your shoulders as low as possible. Keep your left leg raised in the final position while holding your breath. Try to hold the final position for as long as possible without strain. Then lower the leg and breathe out slowly. Allow your respiration rate to return to normal while resting on the ground. Then repeat the same procedure with the other leg.

Breathing and duration

This is the same as shalabhasana, except that it is done before and after raising one leg, not two.

This asana is easier than shalabhasana so you can do it for a longer period of time. We suggest that you raise each leg three times alternately.

Further details

The left leg should be raised first. This is necessary so that the abdominal pressure is applied firstly on the right side of the abdomen, which in turn pressurizes and massages the ascending colon of the large intestine situated on the right side of the body. In this way the large intestine is massaged in the same order as the action of intestinal peristalsis. This is a great help in removing constipation.

Awareness, sequence, limitations, benefits and points to remember while doing the asana are the same as given for shalabhasana.

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