Yoga Asanas

Salabhasana - Locust Pose

Posted on 2019-03-06


Salabhasana belongs to a group of asanas called the “baby backbends.” Its Sanskrit name, salabha means “grasshopper” or “locust.” Also called the Locust Pose, Salabhasana is a seemingly simple pose that is more challenging and interesting than it appears on the surface.


Step by Step

  • Lie on the belly with arms along your torso’s sides. The forehead should rest on the ground and palms face upwards

  • Turn big toes to face each other and firm your buttocks in order for the coccyx to press toward the pubis

  • Exhale and lift up your head, legs, arms, and upper torso away from the ground, allowing you to rest on the lower ribs, front pelvis, and belly

  • Firm the buttocks and strongly reach through the legs, starting from the heels and proceeding to the big toes.

  • Keep your big toes facing toward each other

  • Raise arms parallel to the ground and stretch back through the fingertips

  • Imagining that there is a weight pressing down on your upper arms’ backs, push up in the ceiling’s direction against this resistance.

  • Draw your shoulder blades towards each other, opening the chest. 

  • Gaze slightly upward or forward, being careful enough to avoid jutting the chin forward and crunching the back of the neck.

  • Keep your skull’s base lifted and the neck’s back long

  • Stay here for about 30 seconds or 1 minute before releasing with an exhalation

  • Take a couple of breaths before repeating the process

Modifications

If you find it hard to hold this pose;

  • Support the lower sternum area with a rolled-up blanket to keep the lift of the upper torso, or

  • Support your thigh’s front with a rolled-up blanket to keep your leg’s lift

Preparatory Poses

The performance of Salabhasana in several yoga styles such as Ashtanga and Bikram comes after Bhujangasana. This preparatory asana is closely related to the pose but works on a separate area of the spine. Other poses include:

  • Gomukhasana

  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

  • Supta Virasana

  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  • Virabhadrasana I

  • Virasana

Follow Up Poses

This pose offers great preparation for all “baby backbends” such as Ustrasana and Dhanurasana. Other follow-ups can be:

  • Bharadvajasana

  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

  • Salamba Sarvangasana

Benefits

  • Strengthens muscles of the buttocks, spine, and arms’ and legs’ backs

  • Stretches the chest, shoulders, belly, and thighs

  • Improves posture

  • Helps relieve stress

  • Stimulates abdominal organs

Bandhas

  • Mula Bandha

Drishti

  • Forward, toward the nose (Nasagre)

Variations

This asana has the following variations:

  • Ardha Salabhasana (Half Locust Pose)

  • Poorna Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose)

  • Makarasana (“Crocodile,” “Dolphin,” or “ Sea Monster”)

In the Bikram yoga style, Salabhasana consists of three stages that come one after the other. The asana having a similar name in the Ashtanga yoga corresponds to Bikram style’s stage three.

Pose type

  • Backbends

  • Supine pose

Beginner tips

As a beginner, you might find it difficult to sustain the torso and leg’s lift in this pose. Here are some tips to help:

  • Always start with both hands resting on the ground, a bit back from your shoulders

  • Perform the pose with your legs lifted alternately off the ground. For instance, a 1-minute hold involves lifting your right leg off the ground for 30 seconds before involving the left for the rest of the time.

  • Partner with a friend

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