Salabhasana or Locust Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Locust Pose
शलभासन / Śalabhāsana
shalabh: “grasshopper/locust”
āsana: “posture”

Salabhasana at a Glance

Salabhasana, the Locust Pose, is about balancing your body like the grasshopper. This asana is one of the deeper backbends, a good back bend stretch. It is good for your back and buttocks. You will not find this asana in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, but it is practiced in Sivananda and Iyengar yoga schools.


  • It helps to increase flexibility and strengthens it as you lift the upper torso, head, and arms.
  • It helps strengthen your shoulder, arms, leg muscles, and upper body.
  • Your neck, shoulder, back muscles and nerves are toned and activated.
  • It is good for digestion issues as it massages your abdominal organs.

Who can do it?

Salabhasana can be done by beginners, teenagers, and middle-aged people with normal health. People having mild back pain or needing a stretch to their back and shoulders can do this asana.

Who should not do it?

Pregnant women should avoid doing this asana. People with neck or back injuries should avoid it. Any recent surgeries should contact their health care professional before doing it. People with low or high BP should consult their doctor before doing it.

How to Do Salabhasana?

Follow the Step-by-Step Instructions

The Salabhasana pose is suitable for beginners who work sitting for a long period and end up with back pain.

  1. Start this pose on a soft surface to avoid discomfort and, most importantly, on an empty stomach.
  2. Lay down a yoga mat and lie in a prone pose (Reverse Corpse Pose). Start with some preparatory poses like Bhujangasana.
  3. After doing the preparatory pose, be for about 3 seconds, gently breathe (three to five breaths), and relax to get ready for the pose.
  4. Keep your body and legs straight. Keep your legs a bit apart and knees straight, and your toes should point down.
  5. Your hands should be to the side of the body (touching the body) and palms should face upward.
  6. Keep your forehead on the mat, close your eyes and relax with a few breaths.
  7. Now, breathe deeply and your abdominal muscles should be engaged so that it will be easy to do this pose.
  8. Now, inhale and lift your head, chest, arms, and legs off the mat, leading to the inner thighs. Lift the mentioned parts in one go and not one at a time, and here is where you need to engage your core.
  9. Keep your arms straight behind you.
  10. Avoid shrugging your neck and keeping the back of the neck long.
  11. After lifting, look before you and create a slight arch on your back.
  12. Keep breathing as you are in this pose; your feet are not touching the mat, and even your head is lifted.
  13. You can hold this pose according to your comfort. You wouldn’t be able to breathe deeply, but it would be short, but this keeps you aware and holding this pose. But remember not to hold your breath.
  14. To come out of the pose, exhale and slowly lower your head, chest, arms, and legs, and relax your back muscles. Now, relax by taking some relaxed breaths and resting yourself in a Crocodile pose (Makarasana).

What are the Benefits of the Salabhasana?

  • Like many other poses, this Salabhasana yoga pose is counter to hunching backs and stressed sitting jobs the whole day.
  • While you lift, your head and arms help strengthen your back, shoulders, and arms, make them more flexible, and provide mobility.
  • It helps to stretch your back and neck and helps to make it more flexible. When you practice regularly, it improves spinal flexibility.
  • Keep this asana as a part of your exercise, where your thigh, buttocks, and calf muscles get engaged and help to strengthen and tone it.
  • This pose is dominant on the abdominal muscles and helps massage and this helps to improve your digestive health and keeps you away from indigestion issues, gas, and bloating.
  • In this pose, the postural muscles in the abdomen are toned.
  • You need to be mindful during this asana, so it helps to focus on yourself and helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • It improves blood circulation in the whole body when you lift your chest and legs to perform this yoga pose.
  • Regularly holding this pose with the coordination of breath increases your confidence level, improves focus on your life, and increases awareness of your physical and mental body.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Salabhasana


Locust pose, or Salabhasana, is one of the yoga asanas that is good for people with diabetes. While doing this, asana increases the blood circulation to the kidney and other body parts, helping stimulate the nervous system connected to the brain and spine (autonomic nervous system).

Premenstrual symptoms

During their menstrual cycle, women face problems like depression, anger, anxiety, sleep issues, heaviness in their breasts, and pain in their lower tummy. Salabhasana can help to calm and relax your mind and body, giving you the comfort of your physical symptoms, which helps to calm you and relax.

Digestive system

Locust Pose is of great help to tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles, and the pressure given during the asana helps to massage the organs and helps to enhance your digestion process, keeping gas and bloating issues away.

Back pain issues

You can make simple lifestyle changes and include yoga asanas like Salabhasana. This locust pose can strengthen your spine, back muscles and arms and heal your back pain.

Safety and Precautions

As for any other yoga asana, even Salabhasana (Locust pose) has to be taken care of some safety measures.

  • People with sciatica, back injuries, and slipped discs should take safety measures or consult their doctor.
  • Pregnant ladies should avoid doing it.
  • Follow the proper procedure to do this locust pose.
  • Beginners should do the locust pose under the guidance of the yoga teacher.
  • Remember to do it on a soft and even surface.
  • If you have health concerns, take the required precautions and consult your doctor.
  • Do the locust pose on an empty stomach.

Common Mistakes

  • If doing it for the first time, do it under the guidance of trained yoga teachers.
  • Breath is important, so coordinate the locust pose with the breath.
  • Don’t try to do the locust pose after any meals.
  • Don’t force yourself to lift your legs or chest too high. Leave it to your body to decide your capability and respect it. Gradually, you can progress.

Tips for Salabhasana

  • Use a yoga mat or carpet to do the locust pose.
  • Don’t mess with the alignment; otherwise, you can get injured.
  • Do it in the mornings or after 4 to 5 hours of your meal.
  • Keep your shoulder blades relaxed and towards the back.
  • If there is any discomfort in your hips or pubic bone, place a folded blanket under your hip bones.
  • Your abdomen should support most of the parts in this pose.
  • You can try the simple variations, like half locust pose for better practice.
  • Use props if you need any support initially for the locust pose.

The Physical Alignment Principles for Salabhasana

  • When you start the Salabhasana or Locust pose see that your shoulders are as close to the floor and firm the shoulder blades onto the back.
  • Start from the prone position. Straighten Your legs straight and grounded before starting the locust pose.
  • See that you bring the big toes together and toes touching each other, and the soles are pointed in the locust pose.
  • Your core should support your locust pose and other body parts in the Salabhasana (Locust pose).
  • Lift your upper torso, head, arms, and knees away from the ground.
  • See that you keep your palms facing upwards.
  • Keep your neck relaxed. The back should be extended.
  • Your head and spine should be in line and you should look forward while being in the locust pose.
  • To support the Locust pose, keep the arms on the sides of the body, and palms should face upwards.
  • Lif your head, chest and arms while you exhale.
  • Keep breathing normally throughout the locust pose.
  • When you arch your back while in pose, don’t strain your too much; make it simple.
  • Hold the locust pose by maintaining the proper alignment and slowly release to the ground by exhaling.

Salabhasana and Breath

  • Begin by lying on your stomach with your legs straight and your arms at your sides.
  • Inhale, and then lift your head, chest, and legs off the ground.
  • Lengthen your spine and stretch your arms back behind you. Hold on to the wrists of one hand with the other hand.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • To release the pose, exhale and lower your chest, head, and legs to the ground. Rest for a few seconds before repeating the pose.

Salabhasana Variations

  • You can do Ardha Salabhasana or Half Locust Pose yoga by lifting one leg at a time. Beginners can do this to increase their capability slowly.
  • You can lift one leg and the opposite arm as a challenge to balance. This is Archer Pose.
  • Instead of lifting the arms, you can interlock the fingers to stretch the chest and shoulders more deeply.
  • A Superman pose, where you lift and stretch your arms in front and pose as if you are flying like a Superman.
  • You can use props to support in the start. You can keep a cushion under your thighs to lift your lower body well.

Take Away

This pose is overall good for your whole-body stretch. Salabhasana poses lying on your belly, balancing and lifting your chest and legs. This requires a lot of stability, balance, and focus. This creates more self-awareness towards oneself, which is helpful in your everyday life. This is good for your back and improves your posture if included in your routine. You can add an easier version if you are a beginner or a challenging version if you already practice yoga. This asana boosts your confidence level.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.


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