Salabhasana is commonly referred to as an asana in which the person assumes the position of a grasshopper / locust.
The pose is a combination of two words when the name is considered in Sanskrit. While Salabha means ‘grasshopper’, asana refers to ‘pose / posture’. Though it might be easy or simple to perform Salabhasana, getting into the pose can certainly be challenging.
You should never get into the pose at the first instance, as your legs and hands may start paining. But, if you wish to follow the steps in right way, you should always practice the pose regularly.
What you Need to do Before Salabhasana?
Before starting off with the asana, always make sure that your stomach is empty. In case you need to feel energetic, then you should eat food four to six hours before commencing a yoga session. Once the food is digested properly, you can always gain energy and be able to perform the asana effortlessly.
It’s always a good idea to keep the bladder clean before carrying out the asana. However, you may drink some water before the yoga session so that the body stays hydrated.
Generally, Salabhasana should always be performed as soon as you wake up early in the morning. But, if you have a busy schedule and you can’t spare time, then you can practice the asana in the evening.
Always remember to practice the asana in a tidy and ventilated room. If required, you may also open the window panes for letting in fresh air and sunlight.
It’s necessary to wear comfortable clothes before doing the asana. Usually, men and women prefer wearing slacks and a t-shirt before they attend the yoga session.
It’s quite easy and simple to perform the locust pose.
Step1 – Initially, you need to lie down on your abdomen / tummy after spreading a mat on the floor.
Step 2 – Later, you need to place your hands sideways, inhale gradually, and try lifting your legs and upper torso.
Step 3 – While you are taking the support of the inner thighs, make sure you lift the legs in the upward direction without bending your knees.
Step 4 – Soon after you try to balance your body, you should sustain the weight on the abdomen and the lower ribs.
Step 5 – Once you have attained the position, you should be able to form an arc with the chest and abdomen in contact with the floor.
Steps to Follow for Releasing Yourself from the Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
After attaining the position, you need to hold the body for a minute.
As you relax, you need to lower down your arms, limbs and torso on the ground. While you rest on your stomach, you need to assume the position from where you had started.
Finally, you need to stand up, rest on your back and assume Shavasana.
To get a better idea of the pose, you can check out the image of Salabhasana.
Maintaining your balance can be the greatest challenge when it comes to the locust pose.
So, when you are trying out the variation, you should always focus on twisting the body and keeping the foot high up. Moreover, you must also balance the torso without the fear of toppling over.
The Airplane Pose
In order to get into the airplane pose, you need to lie down with your forehead on the mat.
Later, you have to extend your arms forward and lift your legs slowly till an acute angle is formed with the floor.
As you inhale and exhale air, the legs as well as the arms have to be lifted as high as possible.
Soon after you squeeze the upper, middle and the lower portion of your back, you must roll your shoulders to and fro.
As you try to keep the neck in the neutral position, you should hold your breath and balance the pelvis.
With arms and feet together, you should exhale for some time, release the pose and repeat the aforementioned steps once again.
Hands Clasped Behind Locust
Such a kind of pose can be attained with a slight variation. Initially, you need to lie down on your stomach with the forehead resting on the mat.
Afterwards, you must lift your feet, knees and thighs at a certain angle.
Soon after you inhale and exhale air, you should raise your legs, head and chest as high as possible.
As you keep your feet straight and close to each other, you should shift your hands backwards and try holding them tightly.
Once you start gazing in the upward direction, you should exhale gradually, and proceed in releasing yourself.
Once you become comfortable, you need to repeat the steps once again.
While you start off with the traditional locust pose, you need to rest your back and forehead on the mat.
Once you feel comfortable, you need to keep the arms sideways and relax for a couple of moments.
Moving ahead, you need to bring your arms just below the buttocks and start lifting your legs.
Depending on your ability, you can either keep your legs closer, a distance apart or at an angle of 90 degrees to the floor.
Advanced, Feet to Head Locust / Inverted Locust Pose
Once you get into the traditional locust pose, you need to bring your legs closer to the head.
Now, you must bend your hips slowly and try to touch the head with the soles of your feet.
As you attain the position, you need to straighten out your arms and keep your palms facing downwards.
If you have been doing the advanced pose / posture since a long time, then the pose would improve the digestion process. Besides, you would be in a better position to strengthen the cardiovascular system, the spine and the back.
Before getting into the locust pose, you always need to do one of the Salabhasana preparatory poses. These are nothing but Bhujangasana, Gomukhasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Urdha Mukha Svasana, Virabhadrasana, and Virasana.
Soon after you release yourself, you can perform the follow up poses which include Dhanurasana, Sarvangasana, Ustrasana, Bharadvaja’s Twist, and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.
Steps for Performing Ardha Salabhasana
Once you rest your chest on the mat, you should always place your arms below the thighs and the chin touching the mat.
As you feel comfortable, you need to raise your right leg without bending the knee. Do make sure that you transfer the weight to the other leg and lift the pelvic region from the floor.
After holding the pose for a few seconds, you need to lower down the right leg slowly and exhale air.
Now, you need to remove your hand, place them near the hips, and turn your head to the right hand side and rest.
Ardha Salabhasana Benefits
With regular practice of Ardha Salabhasana, you would be happy in developing the quadriceps and add strength to the abdominal muscles. Moreover, the pose stimulates the stomach, the lower back and the intestine. It also helps in strengthening the bladder and stretching the spine.
There are numerous health benefits associated with Salabhasana.
The locust pose strengthens the arms, legs and shoulders in addition to the hips and the calf muscles.
Since the pose strengthens the back, it can serve to be remedy for relieving the person from sacroliliac pain. Lifting the legs in the pose also stimulates the glutes, calves, hamstrings, and the adductors.
As the asana improves the posture, you can consider it as a cure for many disorders.
In case you have put on weight, then the locust pose can always enhance the metabolic activity and helps towards losing weight.
As you attain peace after doing the asana, you would be able to concentrate on your day to day tasks. In fact, the pose fosters calmness and is known to be a ‘natural energy booster’.
While the asana enhances blood circulation, the pose also revitalizes the body and stimulates the organs.
The asana is also known for regulating the acid-base in the body.
Apart from strengthening the abdominal muscles, the locust pose helps to tone internal organs such as the kidneys, liver and the spleen. Due to the force, the posture gives a nice massage to the organs. Once the digestion process is regulated, the pose aids to relieve the person from constipation and indigestion.
Once the strength is enhanced through the pose, it also helps to keep the prostrate and the bladder healthy.
Effect on Doshas
Salabhasana aids in maintaining a balance between the Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu, and Vyana Vayu. As the doshas get synchronized, the blood starts circulating effectively and the person starts feeling energetic. Eventually, the balance helps in alleviating stress, and maintaining a healthy posture.
The locust pose also aids in synchronizing Pachaka Pitta and Samana Vayu. This helps in the breakdown of fat as the metabolic activity is regulated in a better way.
Impact on Chakras
Salabhasana works towards stimulating and balancing the Swadishtana as well as the Manipura Chakra. As the asana ignites fire (agni) within the body, the person becomes enthusiastic to carry out tasks. Besides, he can also control his emotions, build self confidence and start thinking with an optimistic mind.
Effect on Dhatus
The Locust pose always helps in enhancing the strength of muscles tissues. Once the person starts practicing the pose, he can always perceive the difference in muscles around his arms, legs, back and the calves.
Since the pose plays a vital role in enhancing flexibility, the exercise strengthens the asthi (bone tissue) and asthi sandhis (joints). Over a period of time, the person would be able to move his shoulders and hips with ease.
Once the metabolic activity is enhanced to a certain extent, Salabhasana helps in the breakdown of accumulated fat. So, if you are overweight, you should always try doing the locust pose.
If you thinking about Salabhasana precautions, then people suffering from Migraine, neck injury, spinal injury, and headaches should avoid getting into the pose.
The individual should also avoid doing the asana in case he is facing pain around the joints.
Since the person has to balance the body on his stomach, pregnant women shouldn’t practice the asana.
People with high blood pressure or peptic ulcers should also refrain from doing the asana.
Tips for Beginners
In case it’s tough to place the soles on your head, then you shouldn’t try doing so. Getting into the inverted locus pose may strain your muscles.
If you are doing the asana during winter, then you should be slow with every step. Never be hasty because you might be unable to release the tension for stiff muscles.
As you carry out the asana, you should make sure that you have sufficient place to move around. Since you would be spending time for yourself, you should let others disturb you for a few moments.
Always practice the asana with bare feet. Moreover, you should remove jewelry pieces and your watch much before the yoga session.
It’s always better to start off with some warm-up exercises. This tip would certainly help you loosen the muscles and let you get into the pose in a much better way.
Lastly, you should never forget to do the preparatory poses and the follow-up poses once you release yourself.
Finally, whenever you plan to do the exercise, you should think about a suitable place. If you have undergone an operation or experiencing trouble due to a heart ailment, then you should speak with the doctor, seek his opinion and then get into the pose.