Locust pose is a tough pose that has many variations and benefits. For example, it strengthens the muscles of the spine, buttocks, and backs of the arms and legs. It also improves posture, stimulates abdominal organs and helps relieve stress. Try the series below and keep practicing! The final variation of this awesome pose requires a lot of patience and dedication.
1. Start on your belly and take your arms behind your back, interlacing the fingers. Begin to lift the chest, the legs and the arms all at the same time. Take a few deep breaths and lift a little higher each time you inhale. Pause for a few moments, resting on your belly with your head to one side before moving on to the next pose.
2. Reach one arm back and catch the opposite ankle by bending the knee. Reach the other arm forward and the free leg straight back. Begin to lift everything upwards, creating a nice backbend. Take a few deep breaths and switch sides.
3. For the last pose in the collage above move into Dhanurasana, Bow Pose. Reach back with both arms and catch your ankles. Hug the thighs towards one another as if you were squeezing a block between your legs. Lift upwards with the heels and move your feet back and up, away from your body. Breathe for at least five counts, going up a little higher each time you inhale. Release and rest on your belly with your head to one side for a minute or two.
4. Place your hands under your shoulders and your chin on the ground. Lift one leg and use the opposite foot to support it like a kickstand. See first pic below. You can also straighten your arms back alongside the torso with your palms down as in the bottom left pic. This requires a little more balance. Take five breaths and swtich sides for another five.
5. Come into Upward Facing Dog and bend your knees with your toes pointing up to the sky. Start arching back more and more by lifting your chest forward and sinking into your hips (bellow, right). Take five to eight breaths going deeper into the backbend each time you inhale. See how close your can get your head towards your toes but don’t worry about whether it actually happens.
6. Lift your hips off the ground by curling your toes under and resting on your knees. Slide your arms under the torso, tucking them as close together as possible. You can either interlace your hands or plant the palms with the pinkies touching. Press strongly into the arms and begin trying to lift your legs and hips off the ground. This requires a lot of breath control, back strength and flexibility. Try not to hold your breath and instead suck the air in deeper.
7. If you manage to lift the legs and hips straight up, play with bending your knees and bringing your toes towards your head. Breathe deeplly and release when you’re ready.
8. After working hard it’s very important to give your body rest. Press yourself up and move your hips over the heels for child’s pose. Let yourself be here for at least two minutes. Breathe deeply into the low back and side ribs.