Yoga Basics: How to Reduce your Lower Back Pain through Locust Pose or Shalabhasana

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Oftentimes, low back pain can be associated with weakened abdominal and back muscles.  

When the muscles that support our structure (our bones, in this case, our back) are compromised due to inactivity, the support our spine desperately needs for stability is gone which can lead to pain. In today’s tutorial, you will learn about a Basic Yoga pose that is great whether you are a brand new baby or have made several trips around the sun.

Today, let’s learn about Locust Pose or Shalambasana as said in Sanskrit.  

This is a basic yoga pose found in many different types of yoga classes and has many different ways you can practice. I want to show you “best practices” you can do to help keep your back safe and pain-free, based on the alignment you will find in most Ashtanga Yoga based studios. I know all about back pain.  Trust me. The reason I got into yoga is because I herniated disc in my L5 doing things I used to love. Don’t cry me a river though, it was that injury that brought me to yoga so I am forever grateful for the lesson. (I just hope all my lessons don’t require a LOT of pain, 8 rounds of steroid shots, and the threat of surgery! You can read my story, here.

Key points to remember when practicing Locust Pose:

  • Lay down on your belly (support your chest as needed.)
  • Tilt your tailbone down, a LOT.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles
  • Bring your legs together (pretend to be a mermaid!)
  • Keep your head lengthening–so don’t tilt your chin up
  • Try lifting your little mermaid legs.  IF you can, try lifting your chest. You can do this one at a time (legs then chest).
  • Remember, hold your shoulders down and away from the ears.
  • Pretend that someone is pulling your feet, so don’t just think up-think OUT too.
  • Hold this for several breaths. 

Keep practicing!

What are the Benefits of Shalabhasana or Locust Pose

This pose is great to help build all the muscles of your posterior chain –so everything on the back of your body. Remember, muscles help support your structure, your bones, so the stronger your muscles are, the more support and stability your bones have to do what their job is–which is to hold you upright. That means, this pose does require a lot of work (because it is using a lot of muscles), but you should still do it. 

If you feel pain while practicing your Locust Pose, stop.  

Try re-engaging your abdominal muscles and lengthening your tail bone down.

About the Author

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer or if you would like to practice with Jennifer in person and you’re in the Chattanooga, TN area, check out online.  We offer almost 40 classes each week in a variety of modalities from beginners to advanced, to chair and seniors all the way to super physical HIT yoga.  It’s a great studio in the suburbs with ample parking and the community vibe. 

Or if you’re not in the area and still want to practice with me, you can totally do, virtually, inside the Thrive Online community. 

In the video, I was practicing on my Mantra Lux Pro mat.  A Chattanooga Based Yoga and Lifestyle company. Jennifer Dixon MBA holds her ERYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and was blessed by Manju Jois to be an Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher in January of 2019.  She is the lead teacher in the Thrive Yoga and Wellness 200 hr Yoga For Every Body Teacher Training program: the Chattanooga area’s ONLY modular 200 hr Yoga Alliance approved Teacher Training program that allows you to train when YOUR schedule allows.  With two semesters each year and plenty of opportunity to practice and train year round, this is the BEST yoga teacher training program for busy folks.  Gone are the stresses about missed training weekends, you don’t have to worry about exhaustion and tears from super long intense weekend training every month–with the Thrive Yoga Teacher Training program, you train when your schedule allows and live your best life now.  Yoga Teacher Training should be fun, come practice with us and let us show you how! Another great perk of training at Thrive? You get an unlimited membership to the studio for one full year while you train! NO ONE ELSE offers this amazing deal (worth $1100!) and it’s the PERFECT way to get the training you want with the practice you need.  Our next semester starts in August of 2019! See you on the mat soon!