Salabhasana: Locust Pose

Salabhasana: Locust Pose

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.


Virabhadrasana II: Warrior II Pose

Virabhadrasana II: Warrior II Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Warrior II, or virabhadrasana (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna) II, is a strengthening pose that improves physical and mental endurance. Its ability to stretch your upper legs and ankles while also expanding your chest and shoulders makes it an essential foundational pose for most asana-based (pose-based) yoga practices.

Philosophy + Origin

While warrior II is a strong pose, it also requires balance and steadiness. Although many origin stories for virabhadrasana II describe the shape of the pose as the stance Virabhadra took as he drew his sword to remove the head of his enemy, any student who has practiced the pose will learn that, while fierce, there’s also a gentleness within the physical lines. The yogic philosophy of sthira sukha, or balancing effort with ease, can be applied when practicing warrior II. How can you harness your warrior spirit while not losing sight of your gentle spirit and your commitment to ahimsa, non-violence?

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