How to Practice Salabhasana
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What is Salabhasana?
‘Shalabhasana’ is known as the ‘Locust Post’. Popularly known for being a preparatory pose for more challenging backbends, Shalabhasana gets its name from ‘Locust’ or ‘Grasshopper’. The locust pose yoga asana particularly works on strengthening the back, and improves spinal strength and flexibility.
What are the benefits of Salabhasana?
The locust pose benefits include activating the parasympathetic nerves in the lower spinal region. It removes pressure from the sciatic nerve and provides relief from backache and slipped disc. It improves flexibility of the back, and strengthens it as well. However, if you are suffering from slip disc, it is best to practice with extreme caution. It improves the function of the abdominal organs, especially the lower abdomen, and has a toning effect on the liver. It also improves appetite. The asana strengthens the lower back muscles and glutes, and improves blood supply to the lower back and neck muscles, relieving stiffness in this region. The locust pose benefits also include strengthening the pelvic region. It is one of the best preparatory poses for stronger backbends.
Who should not practice Salabhasana?
Anyone suffering from a weak heart, high BP or hernia should avoid the asana. Also, if you have slip disc or back pain, it is best to be extremely careful and practice with a teacher.
Locust posture, it is a prone posture means we lie down on the stomach and lift the legs, head, chest and look forward. Try not to strain the neck by looking up, you can keep the long neck, and as wel as, make sure you're using all your buttocks, back strength to lift your legs and chest higher rather than the hands.
Avoid it if you have any abdominal conditions or any recent surgeries. Let me show you first, then I'll tell you much more details after I come out.
Lying down on the stomach, hands extended back, palms facing up, head down. As you inhale; you lift up, extend hands, legs. If you need to take support you can press your palms onto the floor, lift up higher, long neck- not trying to look up, tighten your buttocks to keep the legs high.
Excellent to strengthen your back, and start to slowly come back. Place your hands in the front forehead resting on your arms, relax. Now, I will show you another variation of the same posture, Salabhasana. For that bring your palm slightly below the chest, keep your feet firm, forehead down, again we are going to lift with an inhalation.
Inhale; lifting up, rolling shoulders back and down, elbows close to the body, press your palms to lift the chest, tighten your buttocks to lift your legs, look forward. Once you stay here for five breaths, feel that strong buttocks and strong back, exhale; release down, you can point your toes out, heels facing in to relax your back and the legs, palms under the forehead rest for a few seconds.
You come up by just keeping your palms next to the chest, raise your chest up, a small counter child's pose where you sit back on your heels, extend hands forward, elbows down, if you're comfortable keep your forehead down or it'll simply place your fist under the forehead. Sitting upright, that was Salabhasana, as you have seen when you do it you engage your buttocks, so of course it's going to strengthen your entire lower back area.