Locust Pose

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Locust Pose Mean?

Locust pose is a simple backbending posture that builds strength in the back of the body. It provides a foundation pose for some of the more advanced backbending postures.

In this posture, which begins lying face down on the belly, the arms and legs are held straight and point backwards, and the head, shoulders and legs are lifted so that the belly presses into the ground.

Locust pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, shalabhasana.

Locust Pose


Yogapedia Explains Locust Pose

All versions of locust pose include a backbend, but in some variations, different parts of the body may be lifted. For instance, in the Bikram yoga variation, the head and upper body remain down while the legs lift. Alternatively, the hands and legs may stay on the ground while the upper body lifts. Different arm positions, such as clasping the hands behind the head can create more challenging modifications due to the extra strength required to lift the arms too.

Locust pose is a powerful pose for strengthening the back of the body and stretching the front of the body. Its benefits include that it:

  • Tones the muscles of the back and buttocks;
  • Opens the chest and shoulders;
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs;
  • Eases lower back pain; and
  • Reduces fatigue.

Finally, to avoid discomfort due to pressure into the ground, the front of the body may be padded with blankets.

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