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.
- 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.
- 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.
- On an inhale, lift your head, chest, and arms off the floor.
- On an exhale, lift your legs off the ground.
- 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.
- Feel your inner thighs lift your legs off the ground. Drop your tailbone toward the ground (it will try to lift up).
- Hold for up to 10 breaths, then release to belly-down savasana.
- Salabha = Locust, grasshopper
- Asana = Pose
- Strengthens muscles of the back, arms, and legs.
- Stretches muscles of the chest, shoulders, and abdomen.
- Prepares the body for deeper backbends.
- Improves overall posture.
- Increases the flow of energy in the body.
- Helps overcome negative thought patterns and obstacles.
The Ganesha mantra can be repeated out loud or to yourself in order to increase positive energy and remove obstacles from your life. To practice, chant “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.”
Practicing Ganesha mudra will help you overcome obstacles in your life by increasing your courage. To practice, position your left hand so that it’s level with your sternum, palm facing away and pinky finger up. Place your right hand in front of the left so that your palms face each other. Clasp your fingers and forcefully begin to pull the hands apart as you exhale, without releasing the clasp. With your inhalation, release the tension while keeping the mudra intact. Repeat at least six times for maximum benefits. This is a great mudra to practice in preparation for meditation.