Full Locust Pose

Full Locust Pose

Question: In the fullest part of the posture, a strong flexible person can come up high and palms end up facing a bit forward. To keep the palms stay facing the floor, the shoulders have to rotate downward.

Answer: No rotation. Hands/palms always facing the floor. Easier for us inflexible types. Flexible students always want to turn palms towards the mirror and bring arms back more.

Arms don’t go too far back when done the right way.

Q: A student says Full Locust is painful because she feels pressure on her pubic bone, rather than the hips. I would imagine that this may be a common problem for some women depending on their bone structure. Advice?

A: Yes, I have had students with this complaint. They were very thin. Have her put a folded towel (not too thick) under her hip bones for a few classes and see if that helps.

Please use this topic for further questions about full locust pose!


Mose Koss on September 29, 2013 at 11:51 am.

Question: In locust (both legs) and full locust, should the knees be together touching? I am assuming that in full locust with legs and feet together, hip and leg muscles tight, solid, concrete, one piece, knees locked, pointed toes, and only ONE leg that the knees would be together, no? In locust of course it just says, “lock the knees, feet together”.


aleta on October 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm.

Knees together is omitted because many people have slight bow-leggedness, i.e. when standing with toes and heels touching knees don’t touch. Some people have a more pronounced curve. It’s funny; I used to, out of bad habit, say “knees together” because I am one of those people who doesn’t have that problem.

Naturally, I assumed everyone could do it because I could! My husband (then-student-now-teacher) told me NO WAY were his knees ever going to touch in that posture or any feet-together postures, and “Why in heck is that in the dialogue?!” But – haha – it wasn’t in the dialogue! I learned the hard way.


Ronny Euresti on October 22, 2013 at 10:07 am.

Burt (Fall 08 represent!), Loved your story regarding knees together in Full Locust. However, I must point out one little thing: You say, “when standing with toes and heels touching, knees don’t touch” and later say, “I am one of those people who doesn’t have that problem.” It’s not a problem, it’s just their anatomy.


Seth Piekarski on October 26, 2013 at 11:51 am.

Of course Carol 


eula on November 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm.

Too funny, you all are correcting each other now. Life is sweet!

So many things are because of anatomy. When I do posture clinics I am thrilled all the students show up so I can teach the teachers about different bodies. Once you get the hang of it that all bodies are different, you can really teach.

You start to look for corrections the students can actually do instead of making corrections that are not possible.

No. 1 reason not to add in your personal practice to the dialogue. Only a small portion of the room (those with your same body) will be able to do what you are asking them to do.


Mose Koss on November 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm.

How far back should a student’s arms be in Full Locust? The dialogue says “arms back” but is not specific about how far. “Fingertips should be same level as the head” sounds like a height reference for the arms, but perhaps it is more than that and fingertips should also be in line with the head?

Last night in class the teacher told me my arms were too far back. After class I asked her where my arms should be and she said in line with my shoulders. We talked a bit about it since the dialogue is not specific, at least not to us.

A new and/or inflexible student will likely need the command “arms back,” but more experienced students may bring their arms too far back.

So, how far is too far, and where should the arms be?

Thanks in advance for your answer. This bulletin board is so incredibly helpful. Thank you to everyone who contributes.


raeann on November 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm.

It’s arms up, arms back.

That sequence will get the arms in the right place because first you lift the arms up, and from there, you bring them back. If you do only “back” then the shoulders start to squish together and look like “F-16″ wings like Bikram always says. When you lift the arms up first, it positions the scapula and deltoid in a different way, and you’ll notice you can’t bring the arms back as much in that position.


Rory on December 3, 2013 at 8:13 am.

Ah, now I understand anatomically/mechanically why the dialogue says “arms up, arms back.” Thank you. And I googled “F16″ to see what the plane looks like, I had no idea (grin)!

I’m still not sure, however, if there is a certain “ideal” position where we want the arms to be in Full Locust – “ideal” being where we struggle to get them, akin to only your hip bones on the floor with the rest of your body in the air. It may not be possible, but that’s where we try to go with the effort, intention and the struggle.

Would you say that “ideal position” is in line with the shoulders, so the arms are out like a capital T with the body? Or somewhere else? I’m looking for that reference point, if it exists.

Thanks again!


venetta on December 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm.

I was thinking what Burt said…which is straight dialogue: out, up, little back, in line with the head. That is the ideal position. No more no less.

I think that some people use all arms and no middle back, if that makes sense? So you see the arms going way up above the head, but the chest sagging on the floor (too good is no good). Or the arms go back almost in a V, and then again no lift from the middle of the spine (and may I add, OUCH! Talk about making things harder!).

Other very flexible people get tons of rotation going in the shoulders, but again, chest and belly are hanging out on the ground.

So in some ways, I think once the arms are in position (out, up, back, in line with the head) you want to really start finding the middle back muscles to get the chest up more, the arms going along for the ride.

I guess I don’t think of arms as the engine…they are the wings that stabilize the body and the middle back is the engine giving it the lift.


raeann on December 22, 2013 at 10:03 am.

Yes, that makes sense. Thanks to you and Burt for your time on this, really helpful!!


Rory on December 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm.

Makes perfect sense Barbara. Good explanation.

Fingertips in line with the top of the head. Then only arms back more if you can. Most students don’t go very far back once arms are up.

Then focus more on using the back muscles.

Well put Barbara, the arms are not the engine of the posture.


Kerri on December 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm.

Can you please explain why Bikram’s instructions at the end of this posture are “Exhale breathing, come up one more time?” I was discussing this with another teacher and he explained that the purpose of the exhale is to reduce the size of the lungs so that there is more room for the spine to bend in the final, full expression of the posture. Does this sound correct to you? I have been wondering why we exhale at the end of this posture for quite some time now.

Thank you!


marilee on January 9, 2014 at 3:55 am.

Yes Melanie, that’s a good explanation. We do 80-20 breathing in this posture. So take a full breath, hold it and go up. Let a little air out and go up more, etc.

At the end (10 seconds) exhale fully and come up (highest point at the end).


karyn on January 20, 2014 at 9:24 am.

Thank you!


Leave Your Comment

Your email will not be published or shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>