The word Shalabhasana comes from the Sanskrit word “Shalabh” meaning locust or grasshopper, a type of insect that lives on the ground. This posture is also called as Locust Pose, as the final position of this asana resembles grasshopper or locust. In the yoga, this asana is practiced widely by regular yoga practitioner. Because, the muscle & joints involved in this practice are rarely worked on in regular exercise routine. The change in pattern is something a practitioner should keenly observe. A practitioner should the posture with utmost stability as long as possible & slowly increase the asana practice time. This asana involves the muscle around the spine which holds the vertebrates in line. The curve developed on the back gives an angle to the body which forces all the muscles to get involved right from toes to your neck. In this, the locomotive muscles are strengthened. One thing a practitioner should consider important is the breathe flow during the asana.
Steps to perform Locust Pose:
- Place your yoga mat, lie on your abdomen with the chin stretched little forward touching the mat with your hands the beside the body
- Slowly bring your hands under the legs to support them.
- Inhale slowly and deeply and lift your 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
- While exhaling, keep the leg down and slowly release the posture
- Rest for few seconds and breathe normally and deeply.
- Now, try the above steps position 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. As you progress, practice with both the legs lifted up together.
Modifications and Props
Beginners sometimes have difficulty holding this pose. You can support the area around your lower sternum with a rolled-up blanket to help maintain the lift of your upper torso. Similarly you can support the front of your thighs with a blanket roll to help support the lift of your legs.
- It strengthens the muscles around abdomen, lower back, legs, hip joints, glutenous, hamstrings and arms
- It helps in preventing or reducing sciatica nerves
- With consistent practice, the stiffness around back and hips is reduced to greater extent
- The significant amount of pressure is released near abdomen which stimulates the digestive organs, thereby improving digestion
- It promotes better flow of blood circulation through spinal cord and upper half of the body
- It improves the reproductive health of a person
- It stretches the intercostal muscles thereby increasing lung strength and improving breathing
- It stimulates the thyroid gland which prevents the hormonal imbalance
- It provides relief from backache, pains during menses and slipped disc
- The contraction of cervical vertebrae thereby relaxes nerves & muscles in that region
- It is advised not to perform this asana if you are suffering from hernia, survival spondylosis, migraine, hyper tension, heart related issues
- This asana should be avoided during pregnancy