Here it is, Meta Yoga Studios, May pose of the month: Salabhasana – Locust Pose. Grouped among the so-called “baby backbends,” which includes Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Sea Monster Pose (described in the Variations section below), it is an unassuming pose that, like other seemingly simple poses, is actually a lot more interesting and challenging than it appears at first glance.
Then for the eco-challenge. Unplugged at dark – no TV, internet, phone after dark. Unwind the natural way, go to bed sooner and watch your meter go down at the same time.
salabha = grasshopper, locust
The Salabhasana (Locust Pose) is a stretching pose that focuses on the abdomen, thorax, and the upper and lower back. The primary benefits of the yoga Locust Pose are to build flexibility and strength in the back. This pose is a counter-stretch to Paschimothanasana (Seated Forward Bend), Plough Pose (Halasana) and Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand). Before you start the Locust pose, the resting pose is performed by lying down on the stomach rather than the back.
For the performance of this pose you may want to pad the ground below your ribs and pelvis with a folded blanket. The Locust Pose steps are as follows.
- To begin this pose, you should come to the lying position with your belly on the floor. Keep your arms at the sides of your torso, forehead resting on the ground, and your palms up. Your big toes should be turned inward so that your thighs are rotated. Keep your buttocks firm so that your coccyx is pressed to the pubis.
- Breathe out and raise your head, legs, arms, and upper torso away from the ground. You will be resting on your front pelvis, belly, and lower ribs. Make sure that your buttocks are firm and stretch out your legs. Let the big toes remain turned toward each other.
- Raise your arms so that they come parallel to the ground and actively stretch them backwards. Imagine there is a weight pushing down on your upper arms and push up against this resistance. Your scapulas (shoulder blades) should be pressed into your back.
- Look either directly forward or a little upward and be careful not to push your chin forward or put pressure on the nape of your neck. The base of your skull should be lifted and the back of your neck should be kept long.
- Remain in this pose for 30 seconds to a minute and release with an exhalation. You can take a few breaths and perform the steps 2 to 3 more times if you feel like it.
The Locust Pose is a great yoga posture, but is not considered practical for most individuals as a posture for meditation. It puts a lot of stress on the hip joints and knee and should be approached with care, especially by beginners. Some of the Locust Pose precautions include avoiding this pose if you have injured or weak knees as a lot of stress is put on the knees. Also, refrain from practicing this pose if you have sciatica. You should also avoid this pose if you have an injury to the ankle.
Practicing the Locust pose in a correct manner can provide a lot of benefits. Therefore, make sure to follow all the instructions and tips during your practice. A good beginner’s tip for Locust Pose is to concentrate on the lengthening of the spine. It’s not important how high you lift up. Putting too much emphasis on the height can put a strain on your neck and back and cause injury. You can rotate your thighs inward by making your big toes turn towards each other. This will prevent too much lower back compression. Your pelvis should be drawn firmly to the mat. This will enable a better lift of your upper body. Your buttocks should be kept firm, but not hard. You could make use of the back and abdominal muscles to lift yourself in the pose. You should always perform the pose on a mat or blanket and never on bare ground.
Benefits to the body
Benefits to body include:
- Strengthens the muscles in the lower back.
- Improves flexibility in the back.
- Particularly recommended for relieving lower back pain and sciatica.
- Massages to the internal organs.
- Improves digestion.
- Strengthens the shoulders and arms.
The Locust Pose’s therapeutic applications include the following:
- Improves concentration.
- Stimulates the swadhisthana chakra.
- Improves digestion.
The Preparatory Poses for locust pose include:
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Gomukhasana (Cow-face Pose)
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Half Wheel Pose)
- Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I)
- Virasana (Hero Pose )
Follow up poses
The Follow up poses for locust pose includes the following:
- Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Twist)
- Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand Pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Half Wheel Pose)