Bikram Posture #17 – Locust

If you’ve ever seen a locus hover above a flower or land on a branch, you have an idea of what inspired this dramatic and deeply invigorating asana. The Locust Pose, also known as Salabhasana, puts focus and energy in the back and along the spine while also engaging the deep core muscles for strengthening, healing, stretching, and rejuvenation.

Because the lower back (lumbar spine) is flexed against the normal position we usually hold it in, the spine is given a deep stretch that helps open up points of tension while showing special care to the discs in that area. For people who deal with sciatic, slipped discs, low back pain, immobility, low range of motion, or muscle fatigue due to sitting all day for work, this pose can be a powerful healing remedy.

In order for the low back to be flexed in this pose, the muscles of the upper spine must be flexed and stretched for stability and support. This process creates a gentle traction along the spine from top to bottom that can get rid of those areas of tightness while adding flexibility and mobility overall.

The arms are held in a strong stretch that can be very uncomfortable and awkward at first. Sticking with it and breathing into the pose will allow issues like tennis elbow, cramping, inflexibility, and soreness from computer use to be alleviated over time.

Finally, the leg lift aspect of this pose helps flush the lymphatic system while giving rest to varicose veins so that they can heal themselves. This is an ‘anti-gravity’ pose for the legs that can do wonders for tone, vein appearance, and overall strength.

Some tips to help you with Locust:

  • Setup for this posture is of paramount importance
  • Setting yourself up right for this posture is really important:
    • Roll your arms under your body, placing your elbows against your stomach as possible with your palms flat on the floor.
    • Spread your fingers so that they’re pointing toward your knees; this will give you a nice strong grip
  • Relax, keeping your body firm and steady
  • Try to breathe normally in and out through your nose once your legs are up and use the strength in your hands and arms to maintain your weight to the front of your body.
  • Try to hold your legs up for as long as you can
  • The more your able to lift your legs, the easier this posture becomes.

Look for this pose during your next Bikram hot yoga session and pay special attention to the areas of the body discussed here to feel them working for yourself!