Locust

Sanskrit: Salabasana

Locust is a foundational backbend which strengthens the legs, back body and arms. It is a great preparation for some of the more challenging backbends, but that doesn’t mean this pose is easy. It isn’t! There are several variations which you can take in the pose and a few of these are taught at the studio.

The instructions here are for a variation which has three stages: lifting the right leg, lifting the left leg and then lifting both legs together.

How to get into the pose:

  • From Reverse Corpse pose, lift your right side up and bring your right arm under it, then your left side up and bring your left arm under. Turn the palms down to the mat under your thighs if you can. Bring your feet together and point your toes away.

  • With your chin on the mat, take an inhale to prepare and then as you exhale lift your right leg, pointing your toes. Keep a connection between your wrist and hip. Keep your left foot down and firm against the mat.

  • Don’t forget to breathe. After 3-5 breaths bring the right leg back to the mat on an exhale.

  • Repeat and lift the left leg.

  • After lifting both legs separately, bring your feet back together and your hands a little closer if you can.

  • Take an inhale to prepare, then exhale to lift both legs together. Lengthen through your legs and activate your back. See how much of your legs you can draw away from the mat.

  • After 3-5 breaths bring the legs back to the mat on an exhale.

  • Rest in Reverse Corpse and let the energy of the backbend settle.

Remember to create the balance between effort and ease in your pose.

How long to stay in the pose:

  • Three to five breaths in each stage

Gaze (Drishti)

  • The tip of your nose

  • The mat

Variations:

  • Interlace your fingers behind your lower back and take Locust with a bind. Draw your shoulder blades in towards your spine and straighten your arms on an inhale whilst lifting your head and chest.

  • If you don’t like lying on your arms, bring them ahead of you into a pillow (as in pictures 3 and 4) and practice the separate leg movements.

Contraindications / Cautions:

  • Be cautious if you have a back injury

  • If you have a neck injury, take care to keep the neck neutral (gazing to the mat)