Backbends intimidate a lot of people. The idea of moving the body against the natural way is indeed a challenge. We are accustomed to slouching and moving in a forward direction, going in the opposite orientation can be scary. With that being said, without a doubt, backbends are beautiful and they feel amazing. Plus, they are a source of great strength, flexibility, and balance and are important for a well-rounded yoga practice.
You do not have to be a contortionist to reap the benefits of backbend yoga poses. Simply, practice the Locust pose (salabhasana)– a rejuvenating backbend ideal for beginner level yoga practitioners who have been looking forward to restoring the overall natural beauty and strength of their body.
Here are the simple steps of performing the Salabhasana(Locust Pose):
1. Lie erect on a yoga mat. Stretch your legs behind, place the arms at your side and rest the chin on the floor.
2. Lengthen your body and slowly lift your shoulders, head, and legs off the ground.
3. Pull your legs high together. Maintain the elongation of the entire body.
4. Keep your hands extended along the floor towards the back of the yoga mat.
5. Hold this yoga posture for five deep breaths.
6. To release, retain the length of the body and gently lower your head, shoulders, and legs back to the earth.
Here is a list of six excellent benefits of Locust pose that a person can enjoy by practicing this yoga asana regularly.
1. Reinforces the back muscles: The practice of locust pose demands a considerable amount of effort to lift the legs, shoulders off the mat, and to stay there for a few breaths. It strengthens the core and back muscles. Locust pose is one of the safest and effective yoga asanas that strengthen the lower back muscles and is therapeutic for mild sciatica. Remember, do not strain your back muscles aiming for height. Gradually your back muscles will become strong and you shall be soaring high in no time!
2. Lengthens the spine: The spine is the building block of a back. It is an incredible combination of sthira and sukha. Strong bones give us a perfect structure and protect the sensitive nerves in and around the spine. Locust posture actively stretches the spine while protecting the lumbar curve. The majority of tasks we perform each day involves moving the body in a forward direction which brings the spine into flexion and closes the chest. Salabhasana opens the chest, strengthens the spine, tones the core muscles, and improves the spine flexibility.
3. Tones the posterior: In Addition to your spine and back muscles, locust pose is good for your hips, inner thighs, and hamstrings. Uplifting the legs and extending the hips in locust posture stimulates the glutes, adductors, hamstrings, and calves. A daily practice of salabhasana actively conditions your legs, glutes, and hips. The glutes contract and strengthen during the lifting while they lengthen and relax as you lower down.
4. Massages Abdominal Organs: One of the many amazing benefits of salabhasana is that it tones the abdominal organs such as kidney, liver, and spleen along with strengthening the abdominal muscles. The force applied to these areas during the practice of the pose gives the organs a nice massage. The pose is well-known to relieve constipation, indigestion, and get the digestive process on the track of optimal functioning.
5. Fosters calmness and better focus: Say ‘No’ to artificial energy booster and try natural body energizer –the locust pose. As you lower down your body back to the ground, it promotes a cooling feeling leaving you calm and alert. It is also efficient in fostering better focus in the practitioners.
6. Corrects postural problems: Reverse the negative effects of crouching and bending forward by performing salabhasana–a rejuvenating backbend. Locust posture a day strengthens the back, makes the spine supple and restores the correct body posture.
Strengthen your body and invigorate your day with the practice of salabhasana (Locust Pose). Make it a part of your daily routine!