Salabhasana: Locust Pose

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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.


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Garudasana: Eagle Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |    SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Eagle pose, or garudasana (gah-rue-DAHS-anna), requires a combination of balance, strength, and flexibility. A great stretch for your shoulders, upper back, and legs, garudasana creates space in your body physically, but also opens up space mentally. To sustain the posture, you must give it your full attention and commitment, drawing your mind to one singular point of focus.

Philosophy + Origin

Although commonly known as eagle pose, the word “garuda” in Sanskrit really refers to a great mythical bird, one with a golden body, white face, and red wings. The king of all birds, Garuda is the vehicle of choice for Lord Vishnu, who serves as the preserver and protector of humans and creation. Garuda is the bird who managed to obtain the elixir of immortality, soma, in order to save his mother Vinata from enslavement.

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