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Hatha Yoga

LOCUST  –  SALABHASANA –  A list of variations


Lying face down with forehead on the mat, have arms stretched out in front and feet extended behind.  Inhale and exhale completely. On the next inhalation, lift both arms and legs as high as possible. Hold breath or take a few deep breaths in the abdomen. Balance on the pelvis. Keep arms by ears when raising them and keep feet together. Relax neck and shoulders.  Exhale, slowly release and repeat.


Forehead down on mat and legs and heels together, place arms behind your back and hold your elbows or as close to elbows as possible. Exhale completely. On next inhalation, lift up your legs, head and chest simultaneously, as high as possible. Keep holding arms behind back. The whole back is contracted. Look up. Exhale and slowly release, repeat.

ADVANCED VARIATION WITH HIGH LEGS (Requires strong lower back)

Begin from locust position with chin on the mat, arms and elbows and hands tucked under the body, hands interlocked together or with clenched fists as preferred. On an inhalation, contract the lower back and quickly raise feet and legs up high, keeping legs straight.  Continue quickly swinging the legs up and pushing strongly with your arms against the floor. Hold a few breaths and come out of pose, slowly releasing the contraction of the back.

ADVANCED VARIATION FEET TO HEAD (Requires strong lower back)

From the high leg variation, bend knees and lower feet as close to head as possible. The knees are apart. Hold for a few breaths and come out pose, releasing the contraction of the back slowly, using arm resistance.


  • Strong contraction of back muscles without undue pressure on vertebrae, therefore strengthening the whole back.
  • Strengthens lower back, abdomen and leg muscles.
  • Opens chest.
  • Massages digestive organs, helping efficient functioning of the digestive system and intestinal elimination.
  • Thought, breath, movement and prana are brought together in one powerful contraction.

The basis of body-building and spiritual growth is Brahmacharya. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Nivritti Marga – the path of renunciation

Preyo-Marga – the path of ignorance / the path of pleasure.

Sreyo-Marga – the path of knowledge.

Pravrittimarga – the path of action or life in the worldly society

Bhakti-marga – the path of devotion

Jnana-marga  – the path of knowledge

Nivrittimarg – The path of renunciation or Sannyasa; the path of return to Brahman.

Archiradi-marga – The path of the gods; the northern path; taken by the Jiva after death through which the Yogi ascends to the world of Brahman.

MAYA: The illusive power of God.

Maya is powerful. Except, in very rare cases, where the Samskaras are very strong, a taste for a life of contemplation does not manifest itself in man. The Avarana of Avidya /the veil of ignorance is so thick that spiritual practice is not sufficient to easily pierce it. Life then only creates Samskaras which take shape in future births. No doubt, Satsang, Japa and Dhyana help a Sadhaka a lot. But, if at the same time you do Vichara, develop Viveka and cultivate Vairagya, then the progress is extremely rapid. Vairagya and Viveka are absolutely necessary. Without these, no amount of Satsang, Japa or Dhyana will produce immediate results. Because Maya is extremely powerful: she can be annihilated only through Dridha Vairagya, only through intense dispassion.

Live in the present, forget the past. Release hopes of the future. – Sri Swami Sivananda