Asana of the Month: Locust (Salabhasana)

Locusts have plagued mankind for thousands of years. It is the scourge of an agricultural society. Locust swarms can destroy crops in a matter of minutes.

And yet, this pest was the inspiration for this intermediate hatha yoga pose that tones your abdomen and strengthens your back, arm and leg muscles.

You’ll know within seconds how strong are your leg and back muscles doing this pose. At first, you may not be able to lift your legs and chest more than a few inches off the floor. That’s OK.  Try the gentle variation shown below.

Doing Locust pose on a regular basis will strengthen your back and leg muscles and improve flexibility.

English Name: Locust

Sanskrit Name: Salabhasana

Difficulty Level: 3

Start Position: Half Cobra

Instructions:

Step 1.

Extend your arms alongside your body spreading the fingers on hands.

Step 2.

Lift your thighs and chest off the floor and extend your toes.

Step 3.

Keep your head and neck in a portable position gazing straight ahead or at the tip of your nose.

Step 4.

Hold the pose for several breaths or until it feel comfortable. Lower your legs and chest back on the floor and repeat if desired.

Gentle Variation

Step 1.

Extend both arms and use one arm to lift your chest and other arm off the floor.

Step 2.

Lift the opposite leg to your extended arm. Lower yourself back down to the floor and repeat on the other side.

Physical Benefits:

  • Stretches & strengthens the spine
  • Opens up the chest, shoulders and throat
  • Strengthens back, legs, shoulders, buttocks and arms
  • Tones ads
  • Aids digestion
  • Improves circulation
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves posture

Mental Benefits

  • Reduces stress
  • Improves thinking
  • Increases focus
  • Relieves mild anxiety & depression

Contraindications:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Spine, leg, arm or neck injury
  • Pregnancy