The Locust pose, also known as Salabhasana/Shalabhasana and the Grasshopper pose is a back bending yoga asana which is practiced by beginners and intermediate level yoga practitioners.
It helps to prepare your body for deeper stretches and improves the strength of your back, legs and arms. For people who are just starting their yogic journey, this is a very useful yoga pose to improve flexibility and practice backbends without risking injury.
Locust pose steps, benefits and precautions
The name Salabhasana is composed of two sanskrit words:
- ‘Salabh’ meaning locust
- ‘Asana’ meaning pose
The pose is named the Locust pose/Grasshopper pose since your body is shaped like a locust in the final yoga pose with both arms on the sides.
How to do the Locust pose?
Here is a step by step guide on how to do the locust pose or Salabhasana properly.
To get into the starting position for the Locust pose, lie down on your stomach. Both the hands will be on your sides. Keep your forehead on the floor or yoga mat as well.
Roll back your shoulders and open your chest.
Stretch your legs in the backward direction by pulling your navel inwards. In the final position, the upper part of your feet will be in touch with the floor/yoga mat.
Engage the muscles of your legs. Take a deep breath and as you inhale gently life your upper body (head, chest and arms) and legs from the floor. Your shoulders should be open.
In the final position, there will be a slight distance between both your legs. At the same time, please ensure that you are not tightening your buttocks.
Both arms are by the side of your body in this position. Do not crank your neck as well when you are in this position.
Hold on to the pose for 5-10 breaths while you are trying to breathe normally. Bring your upper and lower body down along with exhalation.
Rest your body for a few breaths and repeat the pose 3-4 times depending on your comfort.
Get to Savasana and rest.
Benefits of the Locust pose
- Salabhasana helps in opening up your chest and shoulders and stimulates the abdominal organs with regular practice.
- Since your body has complete engagement of core muscles when you are in this yoga pose, it helps in improving your core strength and spinal health.
- As a starter backbending pose, the Locust pose helps in improving your posture and provides relief from nagging back pain due to long hours spent slouching on your office desks.
- Regular practice of this pose also improves the strength of your leg muscles and back.
- With regular practice, there is an improvement in the performance of your digestive system as well.
Precautions and contraindications
- This asana should not be practiced by pregnant women at all as it puts a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles.
- Holding this pose will be quite strenuous in the initial stages of practice. That is why you can take help of yoga accessories like the yoga blanket or yoga bolster to enable deeper bends.
- Ensure that you are on an empty stomach while practicing the Locust pose. There should be a gap of at least 2-3 hours from your last meal before you get into this yoga pose.
- Anyone who suffers from issues like migraine or regular headaches should not practice Salabhasana.