Salabhasana or Locust Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Salabhasana, Locust Pose
Sanskrit
शलभासन / Śalabhāsana
Pronunciation
sha-la-BAHS-suh-nuh
Meaning
shalabh: “grasshopper/locust”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Salabhasana (sha-la-BAHS-suh-nuh) stimulates the entire autonomic nervous system, especially the parasympathetic outflow. It increases spinal flexibility and strength, brings rich blood supply to the spine, rejuvenates the spinal nerves, and tones the muscles of the back, shoulders, neck, and buttocks. This pose also provides relief for backache, mild sciatica and slipped disc, and other minor back problems. Salabhasana increases abdominal pressure, which in turn ignites the digestive fire, relieves gastric troubles and constipation, and tones and balances the function of the liver. According to Gheranda Samhita, it gives strength and heat to the body.

The findings of this exploratory study suggest that 12 weeks’ yoga training programs are effective at increasing maximum oxygen consumption and vital capacity.

Muscle Focus

Locust Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Erector Spinae
  • Deltoid
  • Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Glutes
  • Leg Muscles (Hamstrings)

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • People who are having mild to severe backache.
  • Prevention of Back Ache.
  • Helps in disk herniation.
  • Chest Muscles Opening (Heart Opening), is especially helpful for people having a sedentary lifestyle.

Benefits of Salabhasana or Locust Pose

1. Helps in Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg, becomes irritated or compressed. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. Shalabhasana can help to stretch the sciatic nerve and relieve the pain associated with sciatica.

2. Strengthens the Spine

Shalabhasana helps to strengthen the spine by lengthening and stretching the spinal column. This can help to prevent back pain and keep the spine healthy.

3. Stimulates Digestion

Shalabhasana stimulates the digestive organs and helps to keep them healthy. This pose also increases abdominal pressure, which can help to improve digestion.

4. Tones the Muscles

Shalabhasana tones the muscles of the back, buttocks, shoulders, and neck. This pose is especially beneficial for strengthening the shoulder muscles.

5. Cures Urinary Disorders

Shalabhasana can help to cure urinary disorders such as incontinence and weak bladder.

6. Relieves Stress

Shalabhasana helps to relieve stress and tension by stretching the muscles of the back, neck, and shoulders. This pose is also known to calm the mind and improve concentration.

7. Eases Slipped Disk and Backache

Regular practice of Shalabhasana is known to ease slipped disk and backache.

8. Helps to Activate Hamstring Muscles

The Shalabhasana is a great way to activate the hamstring muscles. This pose also helps to improve the flexibility of the spine.

Contraindications

Women who are menstruating and who are pregnant should not do any prone position. Avoid this pose also when you have a headache, migraine, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and fatigue.

Variations

  • Purna Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose)
  • Superman Pose
  • Locust Pose with Single Leg

Preparatory Pose

  • Baby Cobra Pose (Ardh Bhujangasana)
  • Snake Pose (Sarpasana)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Make sure that you are lying on a flat surface before starting the pose.
  • Keep your back straight and lengthened throughout the pose.
  • If you are having trouble lifting your head, chest, and legs off the ground, try placing your hands under your hips for support.

How to do Locust Pose

  • 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.

Mental Benefits of Locust Pose

  • Helps in building confidence and strengthens willpower.
  • Helps to improve concentration and focus.
  • Helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

Bottom Line

Salabhasana is a type of backbend that uses the strength in your upper and middle backs to lift up from starting position. The name comes from Sanskrit, which means locusts! It’s not easy because it can be very challenging for some people but this asana improves flexibility while also improving coordination skills- plus you get strong muscles too.

1 sources
  1. http://www.ijpehss.org/admin/image/b4947659ffeee4a3298858bb88a7e1f41561055866546.pdf
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also 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. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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