Salabhasana: Locust Pose

locust nicholegolden

Salabhasana (sha-la-BAHS-anna) is an approachable introduction to backbends and an effective way to strengthen the muscles of the back body.

Philosophy + Origin

As a symbol of good luck and abundance in Chinese culture, harnessing the power of the grasshopper or locust encourages us to take chances and leaps of faith. Sometimes associated with astral travel, locusts symbolize the ability to overcome fear and move in the direction of positive change. Grasshoppers also use the power of sound to heal and to change states of consciousness.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Press the tops of your feet into the ground to release pressure on the lower back.
  • Block: Place a block under your forehead to keep the head elevated and reduce strain on the neck and upper back.
  • Lift one leg at a time to test out how the pose feels in your body today.
  • Bound locust: Interlace your hands behind your back and press your knuckles toward the back of your mat.
  • Grounded locust: Keep your hands on the ground for a kind variation for your shoulders.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin lying on your stomach with your arms extended down by your sides, palms facing up. Allow your forehead to rest naturally on the floor. Press your tailbone toward the ground.
  2. On an inhale, lift your head, chest, and arms off the floor.
  3. On an exhale, lift your legs off the ground.
  4. Gaze down, so the front and back of your neck are the same length. Roll your shoulder blades onto your back. reach back through your fingertips and toes.
  5. Feel your inner thighs lift your legs off the ground. Drop your tailbone toward the ground (it will try to lift up).
  6. Hold for up to 10 breaths, then release to belly-down savasana.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

COUNTER POSES:

  • Sphinx | Salamba bhujangasana
  • Resting half floor frog | Vishraam ardha bhekasana

SANSKRIT:

  • Salabha = Locust, grasshopper
  • Asana = Pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Strengthens muscles of the back, arms, and legs.
  • Stretches muscles of the chest, shoulders, and abdomen.
  • Counters tech posture.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Increases the flow of energy in the body.
  • Helps overcome negative thought patterns and obstacles.


Ustrasana: Camel Pose

Ustrasana

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS         SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

A powerful way to boost your energy and your mood, ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna) offers a long list of benefits for both the physical and subtle bodies. Thanks to its many variations and modifications, there are plenty of ways for practitioners of all levels to appreciate the physical and chakra-opening effects of camel pose.  

Philosophy + Origin

Although the name of this pose is camel because the shape resembles the hump on a camel’s back, there are other ways to consider the name when approaching the posture. Camels are known for their slow, steady, almost methodical way of moving. Rather than trying to race into the posture, being slow and methodical will help you find its benefits without risking discomfort or strain. In the same way, camels use their humps as food reserves, like well-packed bags ready to be used when needed. This type of physical preparation, a part of the camel’s natural adaptation for survival, is essential for this pose as well. Take your time to gather and practice the skills and knowledge necessary to take a back bending journey to ensure that you enter and exit the posture with ease and poise.

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