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Salambhasana - Locust

Salambhasana is another one of those deceptively simple looking postures. On the contrary there are many experienced athletes who can barely lift their knees or chest off the floor when doing Salambhasana. This is an excellent posture to perform before going into dynamic postures such as the Chakrasana (Wheel).
1. Locust is a fantastic posture for your back. It is a stronger posture then it looks. Prepare by lying on your stomach while keeping your arms back with the hands near your hips. Relax by breathing into your nose and out your nose while looking to one side. 

2. Then take a deep breath in. Breathe in and lift your chest and legs up. Simultaneously your arms extend back above and to the side of your buttocks. 

3. Keep the toes together and heels together at all times. Breathe in extend your legs as straight as possible while lifting your quads and chest of the floor. 

4. Hold the posture and then breathe out. Then breathe in and try to come up a little higher. Hold the breath and the posture and then breathe out again as you slowly lower yourself to the floor. 

5. Relax onto the floor and while looking to the opposite side of step 1. Stay while breathing into your nose and out your nose. Then when ready feel free to repeat again. 

6. The breathe and movement should be synchronized and slow. Depending on your level of experience will determine your length of time. An experienced practitioner would take up to a minute to complete the above steps.

Legs 30 Degrees

Legs 30 degrees are part of our preparatory series. It is best to practice after Viparita Karani Mudra. It targets the lower abdominal muscles and should only be practiced with the lower spine continuously pushed onto the floor. Lower back pains could be aggravated by this posture. 
1. Start in a dead leaf. Raise your legs from the floor. Then raise the buttocks from the floor. Once the buttocks are lifted up your hands should hold the buttocks. Place the hands on the buttocks and not the hips. This will maintain the proper angle for the lower back in respect to the floor. 

2. The elbows will be pinned onto the floor. If the elbows feel sensitive to the floor then consider using a blanket or thick mat for cushioning. 

3. The legs will be at roughly a 60 degree angle pointing behind you. With the correct angle you will feel an exertion below the navel. 

4. Once the correct angle is acquired begin pinning the shoulders onto the floor while pushing the chin into the throat. 

5. Hold while continuing to breathe into your nose and out your nose. Slowly build up to 2 minutes.

Uttanasana

Uttanasana is one of the most simplest and classical poses for the back. In this posture gravity assists while taking deep breaths to open into the posture. Very little floor space is required thus making it is one of the most convenient postures to execute.
1. There are many methods of coming into Uttanasana. These range from coming down from Hasta Uttanasana, out of Padangusthasana, or following up from a backbend. 

2. For now let us simply hang forward with the legs straight. Breathe in and then Breathe out to relax your head towards the feet. 

3. You may keep your knees slightly bent. This will disengage your hamstring muscles and focus the stretch on the back. 

4. If you are not able to touch the floor then simply remain hanging while taking deep breaths through your nose. 

5. If you can touch the floor then try holding the toes, back of calves, or place the palms flat onto the floor space behind the legs. Be sure to maintain hand position firmly. 

6. After fixing hand position take deep breaths in as you breathe out and extend your upper spine to the feet. 

7. As you breathe out extend your hamstrings straighter while rotating the lower buttocks toward the ceiling. Breathe in to slowly come out of it by placing your palms together and reaching up to the ceiling as in the Sun Salutation.
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