March Pose of the Month 2016
Salabhasana ~ Locust Pose
This is a pose, great for introducing backbends, opening the chest, shoulders, and throat. Some people look at Salabhasana (Locust Pose) and say it resembles a locust at rest, but it’s a very active pose. Just coming up into Salabhasana requires good energy, being light, free, and adaptable. For yogis, the effort of lifting off the ground and staying there for even a few moments is intense, requiring focus, mindfulness, and ideally leaves you feeling contemplative, yet alert.
As one of the first backbends that yoga students learn, Locust Pose can serve as a blueprint for finding good alignment in other backbends such as Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose), and Ustrasana (Camel Pose). Locust Pose strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, opens the chest, and cultivates mindfulness as the body and mind become alert. After backbends the spine should be released in a pose like paschimottanasana, seated forward bend pose.
1. Increase mobility of spine
We spend the majority of our day bending forward in one way or another – sitting, driving, texting, picking things up. Our spines are meant to be mobile. By practicing backbends, we can improve flexibility and balance the mobility of the spine.
2. Improves posture
When we bring awareness to our spine, we start to bring our body into alignment. As a result, we start to stand taller, lengthen the spine, in which improves our posture. And better posture can help to alleviate aches, spasms and back pain.
3. Opens the heart
When we feel vulnerable, our tendency is to curl inwards, to protect ourselves. Our shoulders round forward and we begin to slouch, so the flip side is to catch this and break the habit.
Backbends aren’t called heart openers for nothing. In a backbend, you are literally stretching the front of your chest and opening your heart, to receptivity, better communication, ease and good breathing. I know that it sounds a bit interesting but it literally makes me feel more open and receptive to emotions, circumstances, healing and being present. In backbends, we stimulate the heart chakra. This is one of the biggest benefits of practicing backbends for me.
High blood pressure