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5 Incredible Health Benefits of Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)

Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)

Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)

The word Shalabhasana comes from the Sanskrit word “Shalabh” meaning locust or grasshopper, a type of insect that lives on the ground. During the pose, the body resembles a ‘shalabh’ or ‘locust’ and hence the name. 

The health benefits of locust pose are manifold; however, one of the primary benefits is that it keeps your body supple and lets you use your body weight to achieve optimum results.

How to get into this pose

  1. Lying on the abdomen with your abdomen firmly pressed to the ground; place the hands by the side of your body.
  2. While inhaling, lift the legs as well as the upper torso.
  3. Use the strength of the inner thighs gradually lift the legs upwards and do not bend the knees. Your body weight rests on the abdomen and the lower ribs.
  4. After holding the pose for about a minute, slowly release.
  5. Repeat the same for both the legs separately.
  6. While performing the asana on the legs separately, alternate slowly and do not go for jerky movements.
  7. Repeat the same process for both the legs at least 4 to 5 times.

Method 2:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your abdomen firmly on the ground, while straightening your right hand, touch your ears and head (keeping your right hand straight on the ground in a resting position).
  2. Keep the hands at the back.
  3. While inhaling lift your head and your right hand, above the ground level.
  4. Holding this position for some time, inhale and exhale slowly go back to normal position.
  5. Repeat the same with alternate hands and feet.

Method 3:

  1. Lie on your stomach.
  2. Taking both hands back hold one wrist with the other.
  3. Inhale and lift your chest looking upwards.
  4. Slowly lift your body from both sides.
  5. Exhale and return to the initial position.

5 Health Benefits of Shalabhasana

  1. Strengthens the abdominal and back muscles – One of the major benefits of Shalabhasana is that it assists in keeping the abdominal and back muscles healthy and strong. The asana puts a significant amount of pressure on the abdomen and back which in turn stimulates the muscles of these body parts. Apart from that, daily practice of the asana also enhances flexibility and reduces stiffness in the spinal cord.
  • Improves Digestion Ability – People who indulge in the regular practice of Shalabhasana boast of good digestive power. The inner intestine and stomach gets a good massage from this asana which enhances the digestive ability. Also, people suffering from ailments like constipation can get relief with the daily practice of the locust pose. The production of enzymes and digestive juices is promoted through this asana resulting in better health through proper digestive ability.
  • Promotes Better Blood Circulation –In order to perform the pose, a person needs to lie down which reduces the pressure on the cardiovascular system.This allows in smooth flow of blood throughout various parts of the body. Among the health benefits of locust pose worth mentioning, cardiovascular health certainly remains at the top. In this age of ultra-modern lifestyle, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, etc. have become quite common even among the younger generation. A few minutes of Shalabhasana every day can keep at bay such diseases and help in maintaining a good cardiovascular health. 
  • Increases Sexual Stamina – Several studies and researches have confirmed that Shalabhasana can increase sexual stamina and strength if practiced over a period of time. The reason being, the asana squeezes and stimulates the sexual organs of the body which leads to more blood flow in the region. When the organs are nurtured in a good way, their performance also increases manifold. 
  • Excellent source of stress and tension reduction –This asana boasts of a plethora of physical health benefits. However, along with the physical health benefits, this also brings about calmness and control of the mind and is an excellent source of concentration and restoring mental peace.

Advanced version of viparita shalabhasna is a nomenclature used to indicate two strong back bends. It is an advanced asana and it is the third in the series of Ashtanga Yoga. Viparita Shalabahasana or inverted is the next phase of Shalabhasana. This variation of the asana provides the full-fledged benefits of Shalabhasana.

Modifications to the pose

In order to achieve optimum health benefits for the locust pose, try to carry out the modifications

  • Upon placing a folded blanket under the hips or thighs or a blanket or bolster below the thighs and a blanket below the rib cage, try this pose. It helps those struggling to keep your feet up and hinging your body on the lower abdomen.
  • In order to support your lower back spread the arms to the sides and over the head.
  • In order to get into the Vinyasa flow, the following poses can be performed as postures leading up to this pose – Cobra, Snake.
  • Also, a Bow or Crocodile pose can be used as an after posture.

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