Within the Bikram practice, there is a mini series called the Cobra series. We do four exercises that target the back, and one of the poses is called Salabhasana aka Locust Pose. The pose itself varies on the type of yoga you are practicing, but this is how we do it in Bikram:
1. Lay facedown on the floor on top of your arms, with your palms facing the ground, and stretch out your chin so you are somewhat looking forward.
2. Keeping your left leg relaxed, tighten your right leg and raise it into the air, but keeping your right hip onto your arm. Hold.
3. Repeat on the left side, keeping your left hip on your left arm. Also, keep your inner thighs turned in so the top of your foot faces the ground. Don't sacrifice form for height!
4. Bring your mouth down to the ground so you are looking straight down. Tighten your legs together and lift them up as one. Transfer your weight towards your shoulders and upper body, and claw your hands onto the ground so you can lift your legs more.
Here is what the final phase looks like:
The pose seems pretty simple, but it is challenging! The woman pictured there has her legs lifted at a pretty decent angle.
Yesterday, in class, our instructor came behind me during this phase and lifted my legs into the air! It was a strange yet awesome sensation to get a deeper feel for the pose. Over the years I've been practicing Bikram, I've made gains in the pose in that I can lift my legs inches higher than I could before. To have your legs lifted practically a foot higher than normal was a cool experience and I hope to get there someday on my own.
One thing that I really enjoy about yoga is that you have many "Aha!" moments. That one tweak, that one shift in weight, that one small change in the pose that makes you think, "So THIS is what it's supposed to look/feel like!" The "Aha" moments reaffirm the fun yoga journey that I've been on and hope to continue on for the rest of my life.