The Locust pose, Shalabha-asana, is practiced with a few variations too; you can take up the classic pose, reverse (vipatra) locust position or half (ardha) locust position to reap its many advantages. As beginners or as someone with a very stiff back or someone having back problems, you can use your hands and fingers to help raise your legs as high as possible; even with assistance from your hands, your back will experience a good stretch and its elasticity will start to develop. Once you master this yoga pose, and your legs become stronger, you can lift your hands up from the floor and lift your legs without any support; that is when you will maximize the benefits gained from this asana. It is recommended to hold locust pose as long as you can, holding the inhaled breath. During a session, this position should be repeated thrice.
Benefits of Locust Pose:
- makes the muscles of the legs and lower back strong
- opens up the chest
- kindles the intestines and stomach
- relieves gas and restores other digestive disorders
- empowers the bladder
- elongates the spinal column
- contributes to a naturally arched back
- tones buttocks
- discharges premenstrual stress in women
While you are thinking of mastering the pose, you must keep in mind the limitations of your body too. Do not overstrain or overwork your body as it will be more harmful than being useful for you. If you have any severe abdominal or back problems, then you must refrain from the exercise or take extreme caution while performing it.
Half Locust Pose
The final stance in this asana is similar to a locust when it has lowered its head and raised its tail; in Sanskrit ardha means half, that is why it is called half-lotus. If you have difficulty in lifting both your legs off the floor, you can start with this variation and lift one leg off the ground and then repeat with the other leg.
Benefits of half- Locust Pose
- flow of blood within the body is regulated and improved
- extra fat deposited on the thighs, hips, abdomen, posterior and waist is dissolved and reduced
- helps diabetic patients to control their disease
- makes digestive system work better
- helps people suffering from constipation to relieve the trouble
- great for women as it corrects malfunctioning of ovaries and uterus
To gain optimally from this yoga position, you must neither clench your fists very tightly nor too loosely. People who have hernia or those with fragile lungs should not take up this posture. Patients of heart and pregnant women too, must refrain from this exercise. If you are geared up, choose any variation of this beneficial yoga posture, and feel an unseen string draw you out, stretch you forward through the top most part of your head and back through the tops of your toes; breathe calmly and concentrate within yourself to enrich yourself with the benefits of yoga