There are many benefits of incorporating core exercises into your fitness regime. But core exercises don’t only work your abs, but your abdomen, lower back, hips, and pelvis too. Plus, core exercises also help improve your balance and stability, avoid injuries, maintain a better posture, and help you ward off back pain. Even yoga has certain asanas that focus on these aspects. One such yoga pose is the Superman pose aka Viparita Shalabasana. It is one of the best yoga asanas to strengthen your core and back muscles.
Health Shots reached out to yoga expert Dr Hansaji Yogendra, Director of the Yoga Institute. Read on to know the benefits and how to do the Superman pose the right way.
Benefits of Superman pose
Superman pose is a variation of Shalabasana called Viparita Shalabasana that offers multiple physical and mental benefits. With only the core and pelvis touching the ground, the body is extended and balanced on the stomach in this pose. From increasing strength and core flexibility, it helps balance the Anahata (heart), Visuddha (throat), and Manipura (solar plexus) chakras, says Dr Yogendra. Here are the benefits of the Superman pose and how to do it right:
1. Strengthens the back
If you have back pain, you can do this asana. It can regularly help to strengthen all the back muscles. It also provides spinal support, which can help maintain proper posture.
2. Engages the core
Balance and correct form is the foundation of every yoga pose. To maintain balance, you require to engage the core muscles, especially abdominal muscles. It is one of the best ways to boost core strength.
3. Improves posture
When you practice this Shalabasana variation on a regular basis, it aligns your spine and helps you to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting and slouching. This ultimately helps in proper spinal alignment, adds the expert.
4. Enhances spinal flexibility
From spinal flexibility to improving mobility, this yoga pose helps do it by stretching out the spine. What’s more? It is a good stretch for the back as it also helps release tension from the spine.
5. Increases body awareness
You need to stay focused and aware when you perform this yoga pose using specific parts of your body. It helps in improving your mind-body connection and enhancing overall body awareness.
6. Increases energy and boosts confidence
This is an empowering posture that helps you feel powerful, positive, and energetic. Practising this variation has positive psychological effects that provide you with a sense of empowerment and confidence, explains Dr Yogendra.
How to practice Superman pose the right way?
It is vital to do this yoga pose the right way if you want to avail all its benefits. A properly aligned pose will allow you to use the right amount of strength, mobility, and flexibility. Plus, it will help you avoid injuries. Having said that, here’s how to do the Superman pose the right way.
1. Lie down on a mat with your head down, arms, and legs on the floor.
2. Extend your arms straight out and your legs behind you, with your toes pointing away from you.
3. Contract the abdominal muscles as you lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground. Exhale while you do it.
4. Keep your limbs straight while lifting them as high as you can comfortably.
5. Look towards the front without stressing your neck.
6. Hold the pose for a few breaths, keeping your balance and stability intact.
7. Slowly release and return to the initial position as you exhale.
8. Repeat the pose again as many times as you can. Do not over-stress.
What you need to keep in mind?
While the Superman pose offers several health benefits, it might not be safe for everyone, says the yoga expert. People with back, neck pain, or other medical conditions should consult a yoga expert and a doctor to avoid injuries. She says that an individual should listen to their body and avoid overdoing it. Change the asana if necessary. If you are a beginner, you should definitely consult a certified Yoga instructor or medical professional before incorporating Superman pose in your yoga routine.