Shalabhasana (full)

Asana name: Locust Pose

Sanskrit name: Shalabhasan

Meaning: Locust Pose

General Benefits:
Stimulates the parasympathetic nerves in the lower spinal region. Removes the pressure on the sciatic nerve and gives relief from backache and slipped disc (however it should be practiced with caution for those suffering from slipped disc). Improves the function of the abdominal organs especially the lower abdomen by improving peristalsis in the large intestine and especially in the large portion of the colon. Improves appetite. Improves the strength of the thigh and abdominal muscles and improves blood supply to the lower back and neck muscles, relieving stiffness in this region.

Benefits for Women:

Therapeutic Applications:
Mild sciatica. Mild slipped disc. Constipation. Anorexia. Back ache.

Taking the Position:
In prone position, exhale and while inhaling raise both legs from the waist, keeping the legs together and knees straight. Point the toes and breathe normally.

Releasing the Positions:
Inhale and while exhaling slowly lower the legs to the ground returning to Prone position. Relax your whole body and breathe normally.

Anatomical Focus:
On the lower back, abdomen and legs.

Anatomical Awareness:
Focus on lower back, buttocks.

Keep both the legs straight and together at the knees. Chin on the ground. Palms pressing on the ground. Toes pointing backwards.

Bend the knees. Keep distance between the legs. Touch the forehead on the ground.

Precautions & Contraindications:
Practice with caution if there is slipped disc or any other severe spinal problems. Any recent abdominal surgery, hernia or prolapse. Pregnancy or menstruation.

Variations & Tips:
Only raise the legs as far as it is comfortable, do not allow the legs to tremble. Advanced variation: Arms inserted below the thighs with palms facing downwards or upwards if that is uncomfortable to help raise the legs more. Another variation is to have the hands together with fingers interlocked, supporting on the ground.

Preparatory Poses:
Ardha Shalabhasana

Follow-up Poses:
Naukasana. Dhanurasana.