The locust pose is an excellent back bending pose designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles across the entire back of the body. It is an important start-up for other backbend poses and is one of the first ones that yoga students learn.
This pose teaches you the importance of having the right body alignment to backbend deeper with comfort. Locust will strengthen the muscles in the upper back and shoulders to improve your posture and have you standing taller.
Poses like locust that have you pressing your shoulder blades together and opening the chest can relieve stress, especially for those that are slouched over a desk all day.
Begin by lying on your stomach with your legs close together and your arms by your sides with your palms facing down.
After a healthy inhale, raise your legs, head, and chest off the floor, keeping your hands on the floor for support and balance. All of your weight should be resting on your mid torso area from your lower rib area, down to your pelvis.
Hold your pose for up to one minute and return to your starting position on an exhale. Repeat the pose 4-6 times.
Try not to force too deep of a backbend with this pose. Ease up right away if you feel any pain or cramping sensations.
This is a very active pose that uses your full body. It is a good idea not to extend one area of the body higher than the other. Try to raise your chest, legs, and arms, an even amount.
Beginners can keep their feet on the floor and just try and raise their upper body.
For a more intense challenge, stretch your arms out to your sides and raise them upwards. Or extend your arms straight forward.
Locust Pose Benefits
One of the main benefits of the locust is how it strengthens the entire back of the body while opening chest and lungs for better breathing capacity.
The pose can also decrease ongoing lower back pain and provide relief from sciatica nerve issues.
Poses that have you lying on your belly stimulate your organs to improve circulation and digestion.
Locust Pose and your Core
Your abs aren't the only muscles in your core. The core has muscles in the back of the body as well as the front and sides. Many of us neglect to train them like we do our other muscles. If you want to have a strong core, try and exercise the area of the lower back like you do your abs.
Locust will use the core muscles to lift the lower half of the body off the ground and strengthen all of the muscles across your back, including the core. Practicing locust on a regular basis can also help to ease lower back pain.
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