Salabha = grasshopper, locust. So, Shalabhasana; the locust pose is a asana with backward bending of the spine. The final position of this Asana resembles a locust or a grasshopper–a strong flier i.e. the instrument to move is strong. To build the same quality in the body, muscles related to locomotion are strengthened.
Starting position: Lie on the stomach (prone position), with chin resting on the mat, legs stretched full length and toes pointing outwards. Make a fist of your arms and rest it underneath your groin area. Or you can rest the arms by the sides, palms facing down–slightly pushed under the thighs. Close the eyes and be at ease, maintaining the body awareness. You can also start the asana by being in the relaxing crocodile pose initially.
Exhaling, in 3 seconds, raise the right leg (kept straight) as high as possible without lifting the hips; keeping the left leg firmly on the ground. While raising the leg, secure the palms and contract the lower back muscles. This is known as Ardha or Sulabh shalabhasana.
Maintain this pose for 6 seconds, suspending the breath (final position).
Return to starting position: Inhaling, in 3 seconds, gently bring the raised foot down to attain starting position.
Follow the above steps with the left leg.
Now, perform the Asana with both the legs rising simultaneously, while exhaling to complete one round.After some practice, advanced students practice lifting both the hands up off the ground. Initially as you do Ardha Shalabhasana you can lift the opposite hand off the ground.
Recommended practice: Practice 3 rounds, with pause in-between rounds.
Contraindications: Hernia, hyper tension, heart ailments, pregnancy and peptic ulcers. People with a protruding belly will have difficulty lying in prone position.