Locust Pose  -Salabhasana

Step by step

  • Lie on your stomach, arms by your side, your forehead or your chin on the mat.
  • Lengthen your lower back by gently pressing your pubic bone into the floor, and pull your navel in towards the spine as you exhale.
  • Engage your leg muscles.
  • As you inhale, lift your head, chest, arms and legs off the floor, firming your shoulder blades onto your back, and so broadening your chest. You can imagine someone holding your hands gently pulling you back, to come up higher.
  • Feet are drawn towards the mid-line but do not have to be touching, you can keep them hip-width apart.
  • Stay for 5 breaths making sure breathing remains calm and steady.
  • As you exhale, lower out of the pose then repeat another two times.
  • Rest in between each pose by making a pillow for your cheek with your arms and letting your heels drop away from each other.

Beginners tips

  • In the first stage you can lift just the upper body, keeping your legs on the mat. Repeat this pose again and the third time raise your legs as well.
  • Try lifting one leg at a time, holding for 30 seconds and then swapping legs.
  • Reach back through the balls of the feet, as much as reaching forward through the heart.

Benefits

  • Strengthens the back, glutes, and leg muscles.
  • Stretches the front of the body.
  • Opens the chest and shoulders
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs.

Watch out for

  • Don't do Locust pose if you are pregnant.
  • Avoid crunching the neck, keep the chin in slightly and the back of the neck long.
  • If it's uncomfortable for your hips or pubic bone try putting a folded blanket under your hip bones.

Variations

  • Try lifting just the upper body or the legs on their own as in the picture below. Use your back muscles in both cases.
  • Instead of holding a static pose for 5 breaths you can lower and raise in and out of the pose a few times. 
  • Try holding a strap between your hands and pull on the strap to create extra resistance for an extra challenge for the arms.