Shalabhasana or the Locust Yoga Pose is so called because the body and the legs resemble a Locust when it is performed. Shalabhasana is one the best yoga asanas for strengthening the back muscles. Those with severe back problems should take up this asana slowly, after performing preparatory asanas like Makarasana and Jyestikasana.
Those with back problems can take up the half-locust pose before doing the full locust pose. Shalabhasana should be avoided if you are pregnant or if you had any recent abdominal surgery.
How to do Shalabhasana (The Locust Pose)?
We shall first discuss the half Locust Pose or Ardha Shalabhasana, which is easier for beginners.
The Half-Locust Pose or Ardha Shalabhasana
Steps to perform Half Locust Pose
- Lie on your stomach with the chin stretched and touching the ground. Keep the hands on the side.
- Slowly bring your hands under the legs to support them.
- Inhale slowly and deeply and lift your right leg upwards, without bending the knees, as much as you can and without straining. Maintain this position for few seconds, maximum up to half a minute.
- Slowly release the position by bringing down the right leg back to the original position. Exhale during this process.
- Rest for few seconds and breathe normally and deeply.
- Now, try the above steps with your left leg lifted above the ground.
- This process can be done a few times alternating between the right leg and the left leg.
Shalabhasana or the Full-Locust Pose
- The full locust pose is similar to half Locust Pose, except that you should lift both the legs together in the step 3 in the above section.
- Maintain the position for few seconds to maximum half a minute, without straining.
- Bring down both legs back to the starting position.
- After the asana, one can rest by putting the arms below the head like a pillow and resting the head on one side. Breathe normally and deeply in the resting position.
Benefits of Shalabhasana (The Locust Pose)
- Shalabhasana strengthens the lower back muscles
- It gives flexibility to the back muscles and spine.
- It can strengthen the shoulders and neck muscles.