Here we will look at a few variations of Salabhasan. These are important to try —the first one is an easy version (for beginners) and the second one is more advanced. Salabh means locust. All variations of Salabhasan give you a strong lower back and cure ailments of the spine.
Lie down on the floor in a prone position (on your stomach), rest your forehead on the mat, arms extended in front, legs kept straight and together. Relax for a few breathing cycles. With an inhalation lift the right arm and left leg off the floor. The right arm and shoulder and the left knee and thigh as well as your chest will be off the floor in the final position. Do not allow the chest to rest on the floor. Breathe normal as you hold for 20-40 seconds. Continue to maintain the arm and leg straight and lift them higher as you hold. Gaze should be forward towards the extended fingers or down.
Now, slowly lower down and relax. Repeat with the opposite pair in the same manner.
An advanced variation of this pose is to raise both arms and legs off the floor (this is sometimes also referred to as the Superman pose).
Tighten your glutes (buttocks muscles), as doing so grounds your pelvis to the floor (relaxes the hip flexor muscles) and allows you to stretch your legs and arms further away. Try to keep your feet and hands equidistant from the floor.
Strengthens abdominal organs, helps with digestion and gastric problems. This works the entire back and relieves lower back pain and slipped/prolapsed discs in the sacral and lumbar region of the spine due to the contraction there. The contraction when released brings oxygenated blood to the area. This helps to drive away toxins with the increased blood flow in the resting phase.
(Anshu Vyas Seetharaman is a yoga and fitness trainer at Sri Aurobindo Society, Bengaluru)