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Salabhasana or Locust Pose prepares students for deeper backbends by strengthening the back of the torso, legs, and arms.
- Strengthens the muscles of the spine, buttocks, and backs of the arms and legs
- Stretches the shoulders, chest, belly, and thighs
- Improves posture
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Helps relieve stress
- Lower-back pain
Contraindications and Cautions
- Serious back injury
- Students with neck injuries should keep their head in a neutral position by looking down at the floor; they might also support the forehead on a thickly folded blanket.
- Lie on your belly with your arms along the sides of your torso, palms face down, forehead resting on the floor. Squeeze both legs together, and pull in navel to lengthen tailbone.
- Inhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms, and legs away from the floor. You will be resting on your lower ribs, belly, and front pelvis.
- Firm your buttocks and stretch your legs as long and straight as possible.
- Extend your arms diagonally behind like airplane wings. Rotate the palms outward to draw the shoulder blades firmly into your back.
- Gaze forward, being careful not to stick your chin out. Keep the throat lifted, and the back of the neck long.
- Stay for 5 – 10 breaths, then release with an exhalation. Rest for a few breaths and repeat.
Deepen the Pose
Advanced students can challenge themselves a bit more with a variation of Salabhasana. Instead of stretching the arms straight back from the shoulders, place the arms under the chest and hips with palms face down and fingers curled into fists. Pressing the fists into the floor will increase the height that you can lift the legs.
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