Just as a sole little locust may be forgotten, Salabhasana (Locust Pose) is often overlooked as a preparatory pose for more impressive-looking backbends like Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose). But the power of locusts lies in their sheer number. And in one’s yoga journey, the power of Salabhasana lies in the sheer number of times we practice this pose. If you are practicing Salabhasana frequently or looking to add the pose into your practice, now is the best time to dig in and learn the proper alignment for a strong foundation in Salabhasana.
Examine what happens in the body when you perform Salabhasana.
In the final variation, softly gaze ahead toward the horizon while keeping the chin parallel with the floor. Feel comfortable looking down your nose while keeping your neck aligned with your shoulders. Leave a fist-sized distance between your neck and chin.
The shoulder blades are extended back towards the hips, while the anterior deltoids extend. This lifts the shoulders from the floor. The collarbones are raised apart, which helps to smile your heart forward and create a backbend. Your diaphragm will be strengthened by lifting your torso and extending it.
As the chest is in a prone posture, the pressure on the diaphragm and intra-abdominal resistance increases. The rectus and transverse abdominis muscles must remain engaged while your weight rests on the abdominals. This is to protect the lower spine and lumbar spinal column.
In a supinated posture, the elbows are extended while the hands’ backs rest on the hips. The needles will eventually lift parallel to your hips.
Hips are extended in order to lift the legs. The glutes are activated to pull the pelvis down and back to widen the sacrum. Engaging the Mula Bandha helps to centralize all actions in the legs, hips, and spine, as well as protect the lower lumbar spinal spine.
Focus on the outer leg (specifically, the tensor facia lata) to internally rotate the legs. Keep the knees neutral and face the earth. The knees should be bent softly until the last moments of the asana, at which point they will fully extend.
Feet can either be useless dead weights or can assist in lifting the legs. Super-glue the toes and plantar, and flex your ankles a little so that the balls of your feet are parallel with the floor.
Baby Cobra will help you to build strength in the upper spine and strengthen your anterior deltoids. In this pre-pose, focus on engaging the transverse and rectus abdominal muscles to build diaphragm muscle strength.
Relax your upper body, and concentrate on keeping the pubic bones grounded as you lift the legs together. It is the perfect time to squeeze your legs from the inner thighs down to the inner arches.
Sphinx Upper body with Leg Lift
Concentrate on reaching the shoulder blades along the body to the pelvis. While the arms support the body, work on the leglift. This helps isolate the actions while focusing on leg lift integrity.
All of your devices are now ready for activation. Hold for five breaths or as long as you feel comfortable. Avoid excessive tension in your neck and lower spine.
Salabhasana, a gentle backbend, requires strength and full body extension. Repetition and practice are key.