Pose of the Week: Locust (Salabhasana)

Salabhasana (pronounced shah-lah-BAHS-uh-nuh), also commonly known as Locust Pose, is an intermediate backbend that tones and strengthens the entire back of the body.  This pose can help prepare yogis for deeper backbends like Bow Pose, Upward Dog Pose and Wheel Pose.

Locust Pose has many benefits, such as strengthening the gluteal muscles, thighs and legs.  Salabhasana stretches lower abdominal muscles and is an excellent way to tone the uterine muscles.  The pose draws blood to the sacral region of the spine and revitalizes the entire endocrine system, especially the adrenal glands.  Locust Pose flushes the kidneys with a fresh blood supply of blood, which helps eliminate toxins. Salabhasana recharges the nervous system and releases venous blood from the legs, which helps to prevent varicose veins.  The pose also stretches the lower abdominal muscles.

While Locust Pose has many health advantages, it should be avoided if one has recent or chronic injury or inflammation of the spine, legs, arms or shoulders, is past three months pregnant or has recent abdominal injury, inflammation or surgery.  

How to perform Locust Pose:

1.  Begin lying on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Rest your forehead on the mat. Extend your legs straight behind you, hip-width apart. Do not roll your heels inward or outward. Instead, press your weight evenly across the tops of both feet.

2.  Inhale and raise your head to look forward. On your exhale, lift your chest and arms. Keep your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down. Lift your upper spine and reach your arms back toward your feet.

3.  Use your inner thighs to lift your legs up toward the ceiling. Reach straight back through the balls of your feet. Your weight should rest on your lower ribs, belly, and front pelvis.

4.  Keep your chest lifted as you widen across your collarbones. Draw your shoulder blades into your back ribs and extend them away from each other.

5.  Hold for up to one minute. On an exhalation, slowly release your body to the ground. Place your right ear on the mat and relax your arms at your sides for a few breaths. Repeat the pose for the same amount of time, then rest with your left ear on the mat.  

For a complete listing of all the classes at Wilmington Yoga Center, please visit us at http://www.wilmingtonyogacenter.com/classes/yoga-class-schedule/.