Little Thunderbolt Pose
March 29, 2015
Lord of the Dance Pose
March 29, 2015

Locust Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Salabhasana
(sha-la-BAHS-anna)
salabha = locust

BENEFITS

  • Strengthens the back muscles, hamstrings, and core
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • Aids digestion
  • Stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen
  • Improves posture

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Back or neck injury
  • Pregnancy
  • Headache

HOW TO

  1. Begin lying on your stomach with your legs extended, the tops of your feet pressing into the floor, and your chin resting on the mat.
  2. Extend your arms along the sides of your body, palms facing up. Engage your core and firm your pelvis against the floor.
  3. As you inhale, lengthen your legs and spine, reaching your toes toward the back of your space.
  4. Exhale and lift your head, chest, arms, and legs off the ground. Roll your shoulders back and extend your arms behind you, so they are parallel with the floor. Reach through your fingertips and firm your back muscles.
  5. Contract the legs to help you lift, keeping your knees, ankles, and big toes together. Gaze forward, being careful to keep the back of your neck long.
  6. Hold Locust pose for three to five breaths. Slowly release to the floor on an exhale.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Clasp your hands together behind your back. As you inhale and lift the torso, reach the arms straight back and up.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Look forward and down to keep your neck in line with your spine.
  • Turn the big toes together and keep them touching as you lift.
  • With each inhale, lift a bit higher off the floor.
  • With each exhale, lengthen the spine, arms, and legs.

VARIATIONS

  • Makarasana (Crocodile pose)

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Gripping the gluteus muscles
  • External rotation of the legs
  • Shoulder blades not rooted on the back
  • Pressure in low back
  • Chin lifted too high