Superman, otherwise known as Locust Pose (salabha meaning grasshopper, locust) is a prone pose involving an active backbend and offering a myriad of variation.
1.) Begin by lying on your belly facing the front of your mat. Bring your forehead down to the floor or a yoga block. Extend your arms by your side, placing the palms in contact with the floor.
2.) Extend your arms forward with your biceps pressed against your ears. Press the tips of your feet into the ground, engaging through the legs and gluteal muscles.
3.) On an inhale, lift from your chest, raising your palms away from the floor, at the same time lift your feet, engaging your gluteals and leg muscles. Lengthen your neck forward and slightly. Reach forward through the center of your chest as you lengthen the belly muscles and pull the navel towards the spine.
4.) Lengthen your neck forward and slightly. Reach forward through the center of your chest as you lengthen the belly muscles and pull the navel towards the spine.Focus on creating a long line from your hip to your shoulder.
5.) To exit the pose, simply lower yourself flat back to the mat.
When exercising our core, we often neglect a big group of muscles directly contributing to supporting out spine in our daily lives - our back muscles! Practising Superman Pose directly engages your back muscles, not only helping you maintain the spine but also preventing potential injuries via vigorous exercise or manual labour.
Performing a few rounds of Superman Pose stimulates abdominal organs and conditions the body to release tension. It’s one of the reasons why you should include Superman Pose in your evening practice, helping you unwind after a long day.
If the full expression of the pose is pinching your lower back, try keeping the tips of your feet on the ground, focusing instead on lifting the chest. To create further opportunity for stretching through shoulders and lungs, extend your arms back and interlace the fingers, drawing your shoulder blades together.
Instead of facing down with your palms, place a block between your hands before you start. As you lift your arms, press firmly into the block. This should stimulate shoulder rotation without letting your arms splay out. If you wanted to make this pose dynamic, you could bring the block behind you in one hand and pass it to the other, changing the direction after every turn.