When weight is gained, the first place where most people put on, is on the thighs and then on hips. Sometimes large hip measurements are a result of sedentary habits, and people who sit for long hours at a stretch, whether due to their work or as a matter of habit may also end up with a heavy bottom. Extra inches on the hips can make the body look highly unshapely, which is why it is necessary to lose the extra fat around the hips for a perfect figure.
Although it is very easy to gain weight on the hips and thighs, it is difficult to lose at both these places. When women try to lose weight by dieting they normally lose it in the following order: Face, bust, waist, stomach, hips and thighs. It can thus be seen that to lose inches on the hips, it is important not to depend upon dieting but to change certain habits and to get proper exercise. Many yoga asanas can be practiced for this purpose. One of these postures is Ardha Salabhasana, also known as the Half Locust Pose, which along with other benefits, helps in tightening the buttocks and reducing the size of the hips.
Ardha Salabhasana is an elementary form of Salabhasana. It is an active posture. It is very suitable for beginners and should be mastered before trying Salabhasana.
Ardha Salabhasana (Half Locust Pose)
- Lie on the stomach with the face down on the ground, legs stretched out, side by side, the arms placed at the side of the body, palms facing down-wards, or fists may be made with hands and placed at the sides of the body, or under the stomach. Place the chin on the floor, pushing it forward. This will stretch the neck.
- Pull the body and raise the right leg by about 30 cms. off the ground. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Slowly bring the leg down on the ground. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
This asana can be repeated six or seven times. There is more to this asana than just raising one leg at a time. You should press down harder with the hand on the same side as the leg which is being raised. The pelvis should neither twist nor rise to any extent. The leg should not tilt to one side and it should not bend. Most of the raising is done by the muscles in the small of the back.
Benefits of Half Locust Pose
- This posture is excellent for tightening up the muscles around the hips and thereby reducing them.
- It gives good exercise to the abdomen; it activates the kidneys, liver and strengthens the ovaries.
- This posture gives a backward bend to the spine and benefits the lower part of the spine.
- It is useful in extricating waste matter accumulated in the intestines. It helps in curing constipation, gas troubles, indigestion, dysentery, acidity and other abdominal disorders. Regular practice of this asana helps in the prevention of piles.