Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yoga Posture: The Locust (Salabhasana)

Salabha means a locust. The pose resembles that of a locust resting on the ground, hence the name.

As the Cobra tones the lower part of the body, the Locust is meant for the proper exercise of the upper half. When the Full Locust is performed correctly, it looks exactly opposite to the Shoulderstand.

The Locust gives a wonderful backward bend to the spine, serving as a counterpose to the Shoulderstand, the Plough, and the Forward Bend.

The pose aids digestion and relieves gastric troubles and flatulence. Since the spine is stretched back it becomes elastic and the pose relieves pain in the sacral and lumbar regions. Persons suffering from slipped discs have benefited by regular practice of this asana without recourse to enforced rest or surgical treatment. The bladder and the prostate gland also benefit from the exercise and remain healthy. A variation of the pose may also be tried to relieve aches in the lower part of the back.

Physical Benefits
  • Brings a rich blood supply to the spine.
  • An increased blood supply is brought to the neck and throat region.
  • Tones the nerves and muscles, particularly in the neck and shoulders.
  • Increases abdominal pressure, regulating intestinal function and strengthening the abdominal walls.
  • Improves sluggish digestion.
  • All the internal organs are massaged especially the pancreas, liver and kidneys.
  • Expands the chest, benefiting sufferers from asthma and other respiratory problems.
  • Strengthens shoulder, arm, and back muscles.
  • Regular practice of the Locust relieves back pains and sciatica.
  • Flexibility of the cervical region is promoted.
  • The abdominal and lumbar muscles are strengthened.

Mental Benefits
  • Encourages concentration and perseverance.

Pranic Benefits
  • Stimulates pranic flow in the lung, stomach, spleen, heart, liver, small intestine, pericardium, and bladder meridians.
  • "Increases the digestive fire" - an ancient Yogic way of saying that the energy flow maximizes the use of all nutrients.
  • Produces bodily heat.

Common Faults
  • Jumping, or trying to throw, the legs up into the position.
  • The nose or forehead, rather than the chin, is resting on the ground.
  • The chin is lifted off the ground.
  • Hips are twisted.
  • Knees are bent.
  • One leg is higher than the other.
  • Hands are twisted into different positions.
  • Hands are apart instead of being held together.
  • Breath is being held while in the position.
  • Caution: The Locust should not be attempted while pregnant, as it puts pressure on the abdomen.

Note: Please perform the yoga posture under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
                       The Sivananda Yoga Training Mannual