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Shalabhasana: Meaning, Steps, Benefits

Introduction

Shalabhasana is a prone lying yoga posture. Swami Vishnudevananda of Swami Sivananda Yoga Lineage describes this posture in his yoga book in the year 1960. Before that, we could not find any mention of this posture including medieval yoga texts. However, we could not rule out possibility that this posture might have been in traditional yoga practice.

Shalabhasana Information

Pose NameShalabhasana
Sanskritशलभासन
IASTŚalabhāsana
English NameLocust Pose
Origin Traditional
LevelBasic
GroupDhanurasana
TypeProne Lying

Shalabhasana Meaning

Shalabhasana is the combination two Sanskrit Words. Shalabh and Asana. Shalabh means a grasshopper or a locust and Asana means yoga pose. In the final position of this pose, it looks like a locust. Hence this name. In English it gets the name Locust Pose.

It is also spelled as Shalabasana.

Locust Pose Procedure

Shalabhasana Precautions

Locust Pose is not for Pregnant ladies. Also ladies should avoid this posture during monthly periods.

Furthermore, people having conditions like hernia, lumbosacral transitional vertebrae, degenerated disc or any spinal issues should avoid this practice.

Shalabasana Preparatory Poses

Simple prone lying postures like Cobra Pose and Crocodile Pose will be of much helpful in mastering Locust Pose. Hence one must with the above poses.

Shalabhasana Steps

Step 1

Lie on stomach with arms placed on the floor closer to the body and palms should face down. Place the legs close together with soles facing up.

Step 2

Stretch the chin forward keep it resting on the floor. Take a couple of deep breaths.

Step 3

Inhaling, raise the legs up together to the convenient possible height. The legs should be straight.

Step 4

Breathe Normally. Keep the position as long as it is comfortable. Then release the position exhaling by bringing back the legs to the floor.

Duration

One may keep the final position for one or two minutes and repeat the steps for four or rounds taking adequate rest between the rounds.

Advanced Pose Consideration

In stead of placing the arms on the floor, out stretch the arms forward and raise them to the possible height. It should be combined with raising the head also. It is fairly difficult when you first attempt this posture directly. Hence, it is advisable to master the first version and then proceed to this variant in due course.

Ardha Shalabhasana

Ardha means a half. Hence, it gets the name Half Locust Pose in English. Unlike Locust pose, only opposite leg and arm are raised up. First, one should raise the left leg and right arm and putting the other arm and leg down. After bringing down the raised arm and leg, the other arm and leg should be raised. This constitutes one round and one may extend this up to five rounds.

Half Locust Pose is very easy to start with, yet gives the same benefits of the full version.

Shalabhasana Benefits

  • Locust Pose strengthens the lower back and pelvic region.
  • This pose tones up the autonomic nervous system.
  • Locust Pose stimulates the appetite and alleviates the diseases of the bowel.
  • It improves the functions of liver and abdominal organs.
  • Locust Pose is good for mild sciatica, mild back pain, and slipped disk, if not serious.
  • It improves the flexibility of the spine.
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