Locust Pose Explained: Steps, Tips, and Common Mistakes

Locust Pose Explained: Steps, Tips, and Common Mistakes

Salabhasana, or Locust Pose, is a type of baby backbend pose that belongs to a group of poses, including Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Sea Monster Pose in variations. Despite its unassuming appearance, Salabhasana is a complex and challenging posture.

Engaging in a locust pose requires strength in the back and abdominals and mental resilience to maintain the position. The focus should be on extending the spine and evenly distributing the bend across the upper, middle, and lower back to avoid compressing the lumbar region. 

Activating the full range of back muscles aids in opening the chest and shoulders. This pose is particularly beneficial for those who spend considerable time seated, helping to improve posture and alleviate back discomfort.

6 Benefits Of Locust Pose 

Salabhasana Meditation is an effective remedy for the adverse effects of prolonged sitting and slouching. With consistent practice, this pose engages and revitalizes the entire body through several key benefits:

  1. Enhances and fortifies the core, chest, and back muscles.
  2. Strengthens and tones the arms, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
  3. Enhances overall posture.
  4. Promotes deeper and more efficient breathing.
  5. Increases energy levels.

Step By Step Guide To Perform Locust Pose

  1. Begin on your stomach with your feet together and your arms extended back, palms down.
  2. Stretch your toes back and press with your toenails to engage your quadriceps.
  3. Rotate your inner thighs upward to expand your lower back.
  4. With minimal hand support on the yoga mat, elevate your head, chest, and legs from your inner thighs.
  5. Roll your shoulders back, lengthen your neck, and focus on lifting your sternum without raising your chin excessively. Keep your glutes relaxed.
  6. Exit the pose by gradually lowering it down.

6 Effective Variations Of Locust Pose Using Yoga Props For Beginners

Using yoga accessories effectively can create variations of Locust Pose. There are 6 such variations that beginners can use.

1) Upper Body Only In Locust Pose

Ideal for those with less flexibility or discomfort in back bending, this variation uses a yoga bolster to support the upper body, reducing strain and allowing for gentler muscle engagement and chest expansion. It's not suitable during pregnancy or for abdominal pain.

2) Legs Only Locust Pose

Focusing on strengthening the lower torso, buttocks, and legs, this variation keeps the upper body grounded. Start by grounding the pelvis and attempting to lift the thighs, which enhances lower body strength without stressing the back.

3) One Leg Only In Locust Pose

A softer approach to the Legs Only variation involves lifting one leg at a time while keeping the head and chest elevated. This balanced effort helps strengthen the entire back and maintain pelvic alignment.

4) Arms To The Sides In Locust Pose

Extending the arms like airplane wings increases the challenge for the back. This variation can be modified for those with shoulder issues by using yoga blocks under the torso for support, reducing strain and facilitating easier lifts.

5) Arms Forward In Locust Pose

Advancing from arms to the sides and extending the arms forward mimics a flying position, adding more intensity. This should be approached cautiously, especially for those building strength or recovering from injury.

6) Standing Versio

Performed in Mountain Pose with a yoga strap, this standing variation engages the arms and back muscles differently, emphasizing upper body strength and posture without the impact of gravity typical in traditional Locust Pose.

Tips For Locust Pose Execution

Newcomers might struggle to keep their torso and legs elevated. Follow the above tips to practice the locust pose with yoga props that you can easily get from Start with hands positioned slightly back from the shoulders for support, using them to aid in lifting the upper body. Progress by moving the hands back to the initial position after establishing stability.

Advanced Modifications

For a deeper challenge, bend the knees with shins vertical to the floor while lifting the upper body, head, and arms, attempting to elevate the knees as high as possible.

Who Should Avoid To Practice Locust Pose? 

Shalabhasana should be avoided: 

  • If you have recent or chronic injuries to the lower back, neck, or shoulders. 
  • Pregnant individuals should seek advice from healthcare professionals or qualified yoga instructors before attempting this pose. 
  • Learning the locust pose from an app without an experienced yoga instructor is not recommended due to the risk of injury and the importance of maintaining proper alignment.


The benefits of Locust Pose are extensive. It strengthens and stretches the back and core, improves spinal mobility, and opens the chest. This contributes to better posture and helps counteract the effects of slouching, promoting overall back health and alignment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should I Hold Locust Pose? 

To effectively perform Locust Pose, engage your back and core muscles without using your hands to push off the mat. Hold the locust pose for 30 to 60 seconds.

What Does Locust Pose Strengthen? 

Locust Pose, or Salabhasana, primarily strengthens the back and core muscles. This posture extends the spine, which is often flexed during everyday activities like sitting, enhancing spinal mobility.