How Do You Do That Posture? Locust

This series of blog posts features tips and tricks by teachers and students, each of whom has mastered a specific posture in the Bikram Yoga series! Think of it as an “insider’s guide” to doing the poses – each week you’ll learn something new that will help you advance your own practice!

Posture: Locust (Salabhasana)

Expert: BYV Student Adriana A.

First, you need to prepare for this posture with a good setup:
  • Start by lying on your stomach with your chin on the floor.
  • Keep your body steady and relaxed, breathing normally in and out through your nose.
  • Align your hips and pelvis, with your heels touching together.
  • Roll your arms under your body, placing your elbows against your abdomen as close as you can, palms flat on the floor. Spread your fingers so that they’re pointing toward your knees; this will give you a nice strong grip.

The first part of this posture is to lift each leg – right and left – up separately:
  • Relax, but keep your body steady and firm.
  • Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you simultaneously lift your right leg up, pressing both hands to the floor and “pushing” your body forward. You want to move your body weight to the front by locking your elbows and using your biceps and lower-back strength.
  • While you hold the lift, breathe in and out normally through the nose. Keep your hips squared and always touching with your arms while lifting your leg up with your knee locked, strengthening your quadriceps and pointing your toes. Hold it.
  • When the teacher tells you to release, slowly lower your leg to the floor. Repeat this process on the left side.
Now it’s time to lift both legs together:
  • Release your chin and put your mouth down on the towel, as if you’re “kissing” the floor.
  • Adjust your arms and hands to enforce your nice, strong grip.
  • Stick your legs together, like you only have one leg. Lock your knees and point your toes. Flex your hips, gluteus, pelvis and quadriceps; the tighter you are, the lighter your legs will be when they lift.
  • Take a deep breath, shift your body weight to the front by pressing both hands to the floor and tightening your biceps; as you exhale, lift both legs up.
  • Once your legs are up, breathe normally in and out through your nose and keep using the strength in your hands and arms to maintain your weight to the front of your body, so you can hold your legs up for as long as you can. The more you lift your legs, the easier it gets. Once the teacher tells you to release, keep your upper body, arms and hands strong and slowly lower, with control, both legs to the floor.

For me, the key to this posture is to focus on maintaining a strong upper body, a nice “pushing” grip with your fingers and hands on the floor and learning to shift your body weight to the front. It’s also important to keep your legs firm so they become lighter, allowing you to lift them very high and, of course, to enjoy the feeling at the end!

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