Full Locust Pose

Not all yoga poses are aimed towards stretching muscle groups. The Full Locust Pose is a great example of such a pose as its main aim is to strengthen and condition a large amount of muscles. The muscles being strengthened/conditioned are, to simplify, all the muscles on the back of the body. By contracting all these muscles you achieve the extended body position which is the Poorna Salabhasana.

Full Locust Pose or Poorna Salabhasana is a powerful backbend performed while lying on the stomach. This posture strengthens the back, stretches the anterior spine, opens the heart, and helps the practitioner overcome fear. Continuing to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the spine, Full Locust Posture really lets you spread your wings and fly, so make it happen yogis. See how high you can go!

Benefits of Full Locust Pose

The superficial large muscles along the posterior side of the body include the calf muscles, hamstrings, glutials, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids and trapezius. The deep muscles in the spine that are strengthened include the multifidus, iliocostal lumborum and longissimus thoracis. To raise the head up into extension, the Spinalis capitis and semispinalis capitis are tightened and strengthened. So why is conditioning and strengthening muscles important, especially when practising yoga?

Firms muscles of the abdomen, upper arms, hips and thighs Increases spinal strength and flexibility. Improves the function of the liver and spleen Strengthens the deltoids, trapezius and triceps. Poorna Salabhasana also opens the chest, increases the elasticity of the lungs and helps to lower blood pressure.

How to Do Full Locust Pose (Poorna Salabhasana)

  1. Begin by targeting mid-spine.
  2. Lay belly down on floor.
  3. Turn chin in and stretch arms out to sides in line with shoulders.
  4. Face palms down.
  5. Keep legs, knees, and feet together.
  6. Ensure that calves, thighs, and buttocks remain tightened throughout pose.
  7. Exhale completely, then inhale.
  8. Lift arms, legs, chest, head, and torso away from floor.
  9. Keep gaze lifted to direct whole body to lift.
  10. Remember to breathe; a deep inhale will help you lift.
  11. Draw arms back so fingers are in line with top of shoulders and face palms toward floor.
  12. To arch body more: Use back muscles, and maintain straightened arms and legs and keep them engaged. You should also use core strength.
  13. Set goal to eventually balance body on abdomen.
  14. Hold pose for 10 seconds.

Full Locust Pose for Beginners

Always look up in this pose. While it is tempting to look in the front mirror to check your progress, looking up will help to finalize the arc of the pose while delivering benefits to your cervical spine.

  1. The props that can be largely used in the Poorna Salabhasana or Full Locust Pose are the assistance of a wall, stool and chair. All those beginners who sometimes largely have much difficulty in holding this posture can take the support of a rolled-up blanket in order to lift of the upper torso.

Full Locust Pose for Advanced

This is the hardest posture to improve. No matter who you are if you just struggle, you will get 110% benefit. Modifications for this pose can make it more comfortable, or can also take it to the advanced level for a deeper backbend. Practiced with integrity, this posture has many health benefits to the yogi. After your Locust, take a moment to rest on your abdomen with your head turned to the side and your eyes closed.

Fly Your Wings

The deepening of the pose related to Poorna Salabhasana or Full Locust Pose can be performed by the advanced students who can really challenge themselves with certain variation of Salabhasana with a lot of perfection. They can indulge in stretching the legs just straight back from the pelvis then slow and steadily bend the knees plus rightly position the shins perfectly perpendicular to the ground. Then, as you gently lift the upper torso, arms and head, lift the knees just as far away from the ground as possible.