How to perform the Locust Pose (Shalabhasan)
How to Perform Locust (Shalabhasan):
STEP 1 :
Lay down on the mat with abdomen touching the mat/ground with chin touching the mat. Stretch the chin in forward direction so the chin tries to come flat over the mat. Move your hands under your body such that elbows are as close as possible and make fists or hold the hands together.
STEP 2 :
While inhaling raise one of the leg from the thigh as high as possible and hold it for 10 seconds or as long as you can then bring this leg down while exhaling. Repeat the same procedure with other leg and 2 times on each side. The more you forward your chin the more your spine will open and you will get maximum benefit from the posture/asan.
STEP 3 :
Lay down as in step 1 and breathe 3-4 long and deep breaths. Now while inhaling raise both the legs from the thigh from the ground and hold the posture as long as you can and keep breathing while in the posture. With every inhale try to lift the legs high. Initially the legs will not raise high but with practice you will be able to raise the legs high and with more practice you will be able to raise legs and body straight up.
THE ADVANCED LOCUST
The advanced Locust posture (Shalabhasan) is difficult one and should be tried by advanced yoga practitioner. In the advanced locust posture (Shalabhasan) one should try to first lifts his legs straight and then bring them down bending at knees over the head. This advanced locust (Shalabhasan) is a backward bending posture that pushes vertebrae closer to each other while stretching the front body to maximum.
- Removes the pressure on the sciatic nerve and gives relief from backache and slipped disc (however it should be practiced with caution for those suffering from slipped disc).
- Stimulates the parasympathetic nerves in the lower spinal region.
- Improves the function of the abdominal organs especially the lower abdomen by improving peristalsis in the large intestine and especially in the large portion of the colon.
- Improves appetite.
- Improves the strength of the thigh and abdominal muscles and improves blood supply to the lower back and neck muscles, relieving stiffness in this region.
- Practice with caution if there is slipped disc or any other severe spinal problems.
- Should avoid the pose if any recent abdominal surgery, hernia or prolapse.
- Should not practice during pregnancy or menstruation.