Camel Pose

CamelPose.jpg

Ustrasana

In Sanskrit, “ustra” means camel and “asana” means yoga pose.

 

How to: Camel Pose

Begin with a kneeling position on the ground, in which your knees are separated by a gap of your hips' width, and your thighs should be perpendicular to the ground below. Keep the inner hips firm and outer hips soft. Push your shins and the dorsum of your feet actively in the floor.

With your fingers pointing downwards, place the palms of your hands on your sacrum, or very low-back. Slowly raise your heart by pushing the shoulder blades against the back ribs.

Now begin to lean backwards gradually, while keeping your tail bone firm. Bring your hands and place them on the soles of your feet as you slowly bend downwards.

Your lower front ribs should not be protruding out sharply upwards which will result in unwanted compression of the lower back. Your lower spine should have maximum length at all the points in this yoga pose. Push your palms strongly on your feet soles to gain strength. The arms should be turned outwards so that the elbow creases are facing the front and not squeezing your shoulder blades.

Remain like this from 30 to 60 seconds. Gracefully exit by bringing your hands in the front and lifting your torso while inhaling. You can relax in the Child’s Pose for a few breaths.

 

Benefits of Camel Pose

The Ustrasana Pose has the following benefits to offer when practiced regularly:

  • Stretches the front parts of the body including the ankles, groins and thighs.
  • Provides strength to back muscles and chest.
  • Stimulates the functioning of the organs of abdomen, neck and throat.
  • Enhances and improves the overall body posture.
  • Elongates and stretches the deep hip flexors.

For newcomers to yoga, Camel Pose is effective in toning many body parts at once, including the ankles, thighs, groins, belly, chest, spine, shoulders and neck. Since most beginners are unable to touch the soles of their feet, what you can do is, first try to turn on your toes which will raise your heels slightly, and then try to touch the elevated heels. If that doesn’t work, you are allowed to slightly disrupt the vertical position of your thighs so that you can bend your knees more and raise the heels upwards. Try to grasp the heels, and after that, you may slowly come back to the correct position.

For advanced students or yogis, the Ustrasana Pose is quite beneficial in boosting one's immunity to various dis-eases like respiratory ailments, backache, anxiety and menstrual discomfort. You may further deepen the pose by having your thighs, calves and inner feet touching each other.

Avoid this pose or ask your yoga instructor first in case you suffer from the following:

  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Serious injury of lower back or neck

Be calm and confident like a camel as you master the Camel Pose.