How to Do Locust Pose in Yoga (Guide to Salabhasana)

Locust Pose is an active yoga posture that is excellent for building strength in the entire body while also stretching the spine. This posture requires both physical and mental strength, and it will test your abilities and build endurance throughout your whole being.

“One of the most important things to remember in Locust Pose is the power of your breath to lift you higher and support your body through this challenging posture,” says Yoga Answered contributor Isabella Koepf. “When in this yoga pose, many of my students forget to breathe, making this pose that much harder. But by consciously tuning into the breath, you can harness this powerful tool to create more ease in your body and access the many healing benefits of this yoga pose.”

Locust Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Salabhasana
Pose Type: Chest-Opening Yoga Poses, Strengthening Yoga Poses, Yoga Backbend Poses
Difficulty Level: Intermediate pose
Targets: Lower back, upper back, shoulders, arms, abdomen, buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves
Benefits: Improves posture, relieves lower back pain, counteracts slouching, strengthens the back and abdominal core muscles, increases spinal mobility, opens the chest, strengthens the shoulders and upper arms
Preparatory Poses: Cobra Pose, Upward Facing Dog Pose, Bridge Pose, Bow Pose, Crocodile Pose, Sphinx Pose

How to Do Locust Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Begin by lying flat on your abdomen with your legs straight behind you and your feet together.
  2. Rest your forehead down on the ground and place your arms by your sides with your palms facing the floor.
  3. Activate your legs by stretching through your toes and quadriceps.
  4. With an inhalation, lift your legs, head, chest, and arms up towards the ceiling.
  5. Roll your shoulders back and down to open up your chest and extend your fingers outwards to activate your entire arms. Try to lift through your sternum to keep your chest open and avoid straining your neck.
  6. Rotate your inner thighs towards the ceiling and extend through your legs, trying to lift them slightly higher with every breath.
  7. To exit the pose, rest your legs, chest, arms, and head down onto the ground to return to a prone position.

Beginner’s Tip

There are many variations of this yoga pose, including clasping your hands behind your back or even bringing your feet all the way towards the top of your head. First, it is essential to create a strong foundation in this variation of Locust Pose. Then, you can gradually begin exploring other options under the guidance of a teacher.

If you feel any strain in your neck in this yoga pose, try gazing down towards the ground a few feet ahead of you to straighten your cervical spine.

If lifting your legs, arms, and chest feels too difficult for you, you can also begin by keeping your arms and chest on the ground and only lifting your legs. Once you feel stable there, you can try lifting your chest while leaving your hands on the floor to support you. Gradually, you can work your way up to the full expression of Locust Pose and maybe even explore additional variations. But remember always to respect your body’s limits and do not push past your edge into discomfort.

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