Happy Friday yogis! This week’s Fun Pose Friday is all about locust pose, or
Locust is a back bend that provides many benefits. It seems easy at first glance, but can be more challenging to hold than it appears.
When we are in locust, we don’t have the support of our limbs to lift us like we do in some other back bends. This pose requires us to contract the muscles of the back and abdomen, so the time we spend in the pose can be very vigorous.
To practice locust, come to the floor with your belly on the mat. Lower arms down by your sides. Some practice with palms facing up, but I like to practice with the palms facing up– it’s up to you. Rest your forehead on the ground.
Your big toes should be turned toward each other so that your thighs rotate inward.
On an exhale, raise your head, legs, arms, and upper torso up off the mat.
Raise your arms so that they are parallel to the ground and stretch them back toward your feet. Roll the shoulder blades toward each other and make sure the tops of the shoulders are down and away from your ears.
Stretch the legs long, pointing the toes, and maintain that internal rotation you established in the legs before lifting them up off the mat.
Your gaze should be down toward the mat, or slightly forward to keep the neck long and avoid crunching the vertebrae in the back of the neck.
Hold locust pose for 30 seconds to a minute and release on an exhale. Bring your cheek to the mat and take a few breaths. Repeat two to three times.
An option to make the pose a little less intense is to keep feet and legs rooted and lift only the upper body, then alternate, and lift the legs while keeping the torso grounded. You can also explore lifting opposite arm and leg off the ground– still experiencing a backbend, but with more stability using the leg/arm that is on the mat to ground you.
If you want to get super creative with your locust variations, try playing with different arm/leg placement and have fun with it!
If you are seeking more of a challenge, interlace and clasp your hands behind your back as you lift everything up.
Locust pose is not recommended for women who are pregnant or anyone with back, neck or spinal injuries.
Benefits of locust pose include:
• Strengthens the upper and lower back, buttocks, arms and legs
• Stretches the chest, shoulders and abdominals
• Prepares the body for deeper back bending
• Improves posture
To see a tutorial on locust, check out this video from Yoga Journal.
Enjoy yogis! See you on the mat!