‘Shalabha’ is the Sanskrit word for locust. ‘Shalabhasana’ is so called because, while performing it, the body assumes a posture which resembles a locust. When this asana is practised with one leg, it is called ‘Ardha Shalabhasana’.
Technique : Lie on the stomach with the face down on the ground. Stretch both the arms beside the body and clench the fists lightly. The hands can also be placed under the thighs. Inhale and retain the breath till the completion of the asana. Pull the body and raise either of the legs by about 30 cms off the ground. Raise the leg as high as possible. Stretch the soles of the feet. Hold this position for five to thirty seconds. Then slowly bring the leg down on the ground. Exhale very slowly. Repeat this exercise with the other leg. This asana can be repeated six to seven times.
(1) As far as the spinal bend is concerned, this asana is inverse to Pashchimottasana. This asana gives twist backwards to the spine.
(2) Bhujangasana develops the (half) upper part of the trunk, while Shalabhasana develops the remaining lower part of the trunk.
(3) It is very useful in extricating waste matter accumulated in the intestines.
(4) It cures lumbar pain and reduces excessive fat formed around the knees, the thighs, the waist and the abdomen.
(5) It gives good exercise to the abdomen. The kidney, the Iiver, etc. become active. It strengthens the ovary.
(6) It cures constipation, gas-trouble, indigestion, dysentery, acidity and other abdominal disorders.
(7) The practice of this asana counters tendencies to piles. It removes the aches of the soles of the feet and cu res the disease of the appendix.