Yoga Poses

How To Do Ardha Shalabhasana (Half Locust Pose) – Steps, Variation & Benefits

Ardha-Shalabhasana-half-locust-pose
Ardha Shalabhasana by Yasmeen

Ardha Shalabhasana – Half Locust Pose

Ardha Shalabhasana is an excellent Yoga Pose for the back pain and pelvic organs. It is made up of three words Ardh, Shalabh, and Asana, in which the word “Ardha” means ‘half’, “Shalabh” means ‘locust’, and “Asana” means ‘posture’ and hence the name Ardha Shalabhasana or Half Locust Pose. Ardha Shalabhasana can be considered as a preparatory pose for Shalabhasana. The final pose of  Shalabhasana resembles a feeding locust, with the head lowered and tail raised up. Locusts are known for their energy and ability to take great leaps. Ardha Shalabhasana, one of the asana for lower back stretches, helps release tension in the pelvic area.

Ardha Shalabhasana Steps 

  • Spread a Yoga Mat and Lie flat on the stomach on it, with the chin on the floor.
  • Stretch the chin slightly forward.
  • Bring the hands under the thighs, palms facing downwards or hands clenched.
  • Keep both the legs straight throughout the practice.
  • Breathe in and raise the left leg as high as possible, using the back muscles.
  • Keep the right leg straight and in contact with the floor.
  • Ensure that hips stay on the ground, and the pelvis remains in a neutral position.
  • Become aware of the pressure on the lower back and the lower abdomen.
  • Stay in the posture for as long as possible without strain and retaining the breath inside.
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Ardha Shalabhasana Images
  • If the final position is held for a longer period, the breathing can be kept normal.
  • Exhale while lowering the leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same process with the right leg.
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Ardha Shalabhasana Image
  • This is one round.
  • Practice 2 rounds.
  • If the dynamic practice is done, then raise and lower the legs on the inhale-exhale cycle.

Ardh Shalabhasana Practice Note 

The left leg should be raised first in order to apply pressure on the right side of the abdomen. This will help massage the ascending colon of the large intestine. Raise the right leg next, which will later put pressure on descending colon. This is in support of the direction of the intestinal peristalsis.

Ardha Shalabhasana variation

  • Lie flat on the stomach, with the chin on the floor.
  • Stretch both arms above head, keeping them parallel to each other.
  • Keep the arms and legs straight throughout the practice.
  • Inhale and raise the left leg, the right arm and head as high as possible simultaneously.
  • Point the toes back, and stretch the fingers away from the body.
  • The left leg should be stretched backward and the right arm stretched forward in the final position.
  • Keep the head raised and keep on looking forward.
  • Stay in the posture for as long as possible without straining and retaining the breath inside.
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Ardha Shalabhasana Images
  • If the final position is held for a longer period, the breathing can be kept normal.
  • Exhale while lowering the leg, hand, and arm to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the right leg and the left arm.
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Ardha Shalabhasana Image
  • This is one round.
  • Practice up to  2 rounds.
  • If the dynamic practice is done, then raise and lower the arms and legs on the inhale-exhale cycle.

Ardha Shalabhasana Benefits 

  • Ardha Shalabhasana massages the pelvic organs and improves blood circulation in the pelvic and lower back area.
  • It is a very good Yoga Pose for people suffering from lower back pain and even sciatica pain.
  • Ardha Shalabhasana, one of the best back exercises, strengthens the lower back muscles.
  • The asana releases tension in the pelvic area.
  • Ardha Shalabhasana strengthens and tones the thighs and buttocks.
  • Ardha Shalabhasana is good for people suffering from constipation.
  • It improves the flexibility of the spine.
  • It strengthens the shoulders and neck muscles.
  • The Ardha Shalabhasana is good for people recovering from the slipped disc.
  • Ardha Shalabhasana variation is recommended for beginners with weak and stiff backs.
  • The variation of Ardha Shalabhasana helps to tone the back muscles and stimulate the lower back nerves.
  • The variation also gives a strong diagonal stretch in the body.

Ardha Shalabhasana Sequence

In a Yoga Session, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, and Dhanurasana are done in an order as written. Ardha Shalabhasana can be practiced after Bhujangasna and just before Shalabhasana.

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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