The Locust

As the Cobra tones the lower part of the body, the Locust is meant for the proper exercise of the upper half. When the full Locust is performed correctly, it looks exactly opposite to the Shoulderstand.

How to do Salabhasana

Preparatory Exercise
The Half Locust

  1. Lying on the abdomen, bring the chin to the floor. Stretch the chin as far as possible, imagining that you are trying to bring the throat flat onto the ground.
  2. Make fists of the hands and bring them under the thighs. Try to bring the elbows together beneath the body.
  3. Inhale, raising the right leg up as high as possible without lifting or twisting the hips. Keep the knees straight. Exhaling, lower the leg to the ground and repeat with the left leg. Do this 2-5 times on each side. Beginners may hold the leg up for 5 seconds, increasing gradually to 15 seconds.

Coming into position
Remain in the position with fists beneath the thighs and chin stretched forward on the ground. Take 3 deep breaths. On the third breath, raise both legs up off the ground as high as possible. The knees should be kept straight. The sacral area may raise a bit along with legs. For beginners, the elevation may be only 2 or 3 inches. More advanced students will lift the legs higher until, eventually,  the feet are over the head . Beginners may hold the Locust for 5 seconds, gradually increasing the time to 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. To come out of the position exhale and legs down with control. After completing the Locust, rest and relax on the abdomen. Fold the arms, making a pillow for the head and rest the cheek on the hands.

Benefits of Salabhasana

  • Abdominal pressure is increased. Intestinal functions are regulated and resistance of the abdominal walls is strengthened. Sluggish digestion is removed.
  • All the internal organs are massaged especially the pancreas, liver and kidneys.
  • The Locust gives a backward bend to the spine and opens the chest.
  • An increased blood supply is brought to the neck and throat region.
  • Flexibility of the cervical region is promoted.
  • The biceps and deltoid muscles of the upper arms are strengthened and given an increased blood supply.
  • The abdominal and lumbar muscles are strengthened.
  • Lower-back pains and sciatica are banished.
  • The back and shoulder muscles are strengthened.
  • Bodily heat is produced.

The digestive fire is increased.


Common Mistakes

  1. Do not permit the chin to lift off the ground.
  2. Do not have the nose or forehead on the floor. The chin should be on the floor.
  3. Never jump into the position; come up slowly with good control.
  4. The knees should not be bent nor legs apart.