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.


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Bhujangasana: Cobra Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Bhujangasana (boo-jang-GAHS-anna) is a great way to strengthen the upper back and is often practiced as part of a transition back to downward-facing dog in vinyasa yoga. Practicing cobra pose regularly can improve your lung capacity, reduce stress, and stimulate many of the internal organs in your body.

Philosophy + Origin

Although often perceived as evil or dangerous, snakes also have a rich history of power and worship. In some yoga traditions, the energy of kundalini is represented by a serpent resting coiled at the base of the spine. By awakening this snake, we enliven our body’s energy and create a pathway towards enlightenment. This connection with enlightenment is also seen in many portrayals of the Buddha where he is shown with a cobra over his head.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Option to swap cobra pose for sphinx pose by placing your forearms on the floor.
  • Lengthen the back of the neck to avoid straining the neck and upper back.
  • If you experience discomfort in the lower back, bend the elbows more.
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