Shalabhasana – The Locust Posture


I persevere, and with dedicated practice, speedily move towards my goals.

The final position of this asana resembles a locust or a grasshopper. Their hind legs are increasingly stimulated and strong. The locust moves quickly. The same quality is to be built up in your body. The instrument of locomotion and the muscles related to locomotion are strengthened by the backward lifting of the legs.

You can perform this asana in a dynamic way as mentioned below or you can remain in the final posture for one to two minutes breathing normally.


Variation 1-Using Alternate Legs*

Starting Position

  1. Lie on your stomach with your chin resting on a mat, your legs stretched out and your toes pointing outwards.

  2. Your arms should rest beside your body with your palms facing down slightly pushed under your thighs.

  3. Close your eyes and be at ease.



  1. Inhale. While exhaling, raise your right leg straight up as high as you can without lifting your hips.

  2. While raising your leg, keep your palms firmly tucked in their place.

  3. Maintain the final position suspending your breath for six seconds.


Posture Release

  1. Inhaling, bring your foot down to the starting position.

  2. Repeat with your left leg.


Variation 2-Using Both the Legs Together**

  1. Follow the same process as in Variation 1 except use both your legs together.


Limitations / Contraindications

  1. Hypertension, heart ailments

  2. Pregnancy and peptic ulcers




  1. It strengthens your wrists, hips, thighs, legs, lower abdomen and diaphragm.

  2. It tones your back muscles and sciatic nerves.

  3. It tones and balances the functioning of your liver and other abdominal organs.



  1. It helps relieve cervical spondylitis and spinal ailments.

  2. It stimulates the appetite.

  3. It provides relief in backache and mild sciatica.

  4. It alleviates diseases of the stomach and bowels.



  1. It develops self-confidence.

  2. It helps in relieving stress.

  3. It calms the mind and body.


Muscles Involved

  1. Extensors of the hip

  2. Anterior trunk muscles, rectus abdominus, quadriceps, anterior abdominal wall muscles

Hansaji J. Yogendra’s Variation for Shalabhasana


Method of Practice

  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands tucked comfortably partially under your thighs.

  2. While inhaling, lift your right leg off the ground about six inches and bend your knee towards the hips as you contract the hamstring muscles.

  3. Exhaling, release your knee and bring down your leg.

  4. Repeat with the left leg.

  5. Repeat the whole process with both your legs contracting the hamstring muscles in the final position.


Variation 1

  1. Starting position same as before.

  2. Bend both your knees backwards, tighten the hamstring and raise your thighs up a little only.

  3. Bring your legs down and relax.


Note: In these variations, the effort is not about how high you can lift but the contraction of the hamstring muscles.

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  • alka
    Posted at 18:31h, 28 September Reply

    In the above details in ‘Variation 1 – Steps: it is said ” While exhaling, lift your right leg straight up …”

    Where as as we read below in ‘Method of Practice’ Point No 2 – it is said ” While inhaling lift your right leg off the ground…”

    Please clarify


  • Ankita Patil
    Posted at 17:35h, 11 September Reply

    I found a lot of information after reading your article. Thanks to the moderator of this site for writing such a beautiful article.

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