Shalabhasana or the Locust Yoga Pose is so called because the body and the legs resemble a Locust when it is performed. Shalabhasana is one the best yoga asanas for strengthening the back muscles. Those with severe back problems should take up this asana slowly, after performing preparatory asanas like Makarasana and Jyestikasana.
Those with back problems can take up the half-locust pose before doing the full locust pose. Shalabhasana should be avoided if you are pregnant or if you had any recent abdominal surgery.
How to do Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
- Lie down on your Stomach; place both hands underneath the thighs.
- Breath in (inhale) and lift your right leg up, (your leg should not bend at the knee).
- Your chin should rest on the ground.
- Hold this position about ten to twenty seconds.
- After that exhale and take down your leg in the initial position.
- Similarly do it with your left leg.
- Repeat this for five to seven times.
- After doing it with the left leg, inhale and lift your both legs up (Your legs should not bend at the knees; lift your legs as much as you can).
- With both legs repeat the process for two to four times.
Benefits of the Locust Posture (Shalabasana)
- Increases flexibility and strength of the entire back
- Strengthens shoulders and arms
- Tones the nerves and muscles especially in the neck and shoulders
- Massages and tones abdominal organs, and improves digestion
Beginners sometimes have difficulty sustaining the lift of the torso and legs in this pose. Begin the pose with your hands resting on the floor, a little bit back from the shoulders, closer to your waist. Inhale and gently push your hands against the floor to help lift the upper torso. Then keep the hands in place as you do the pose, or after a few breaths, once you’ve established the lift of the chest, swing them back into the position described above in step 3. As for the legs, you can do the pose with the legs lifted alternately off the floor. For example, if you want to hold the pose for a total of 1 minute