November 16, 2012

Ustrasana, Camel Pose

Ustrasana, Camel pose, moving us into a deeper backbend than the previous ones I have posted. Camel pose opens us up from the inside out. I personally don't recommend beginners attempt this pose, work on the previous poses I've posted first.

It's best to do Camel pose after the body is warmed up.

Begin by kneeling on the floor with the head over the heart, shoulders over the hips and hips over the knees. The knees are hip distance apart, rotate the thighs in and firm the buttocks while making a subtle lifting of the sit bones as you press the tops of your feet into the floor.

Now bring your hands to your lower back with fingers pointing down and elbows coming toward each other. Press the pelvis forward as you lengthen the spine and simultaneously tense the front thighs back. Draw the shoulder blades toward each other. Inhaling lift the sternum and chest, simultaneously dropping your hands back to the soles of the feet or your heels keeping the thighs perpendicular to the floor. Once you've leaned back with the tailbone and shoulders firm with the chest out and up let the head drop back if it's comfortable to do so. If you have neck issues keep the head upright. Lower back remains lifted maintaining the length in the lower spine. And turn your arms out .

Stay in the pose 15 to 20 seconds or longer, if comfortable to do so.

Coming out: Bring the head back up and exhale straightening the spine placing the hands on the hips pushing them down to help straighten the back.

Benefits of Camel Pose: Stretches the front body (especially the psoas muscles), ankles, thighs, front of the hips. May help with some back problems, anxiety, menstrual issues, posture and strengthens the back muscles.

As you do Camel Pose more often you'll be able to increase the depth of the backbend and the neck opening.

My next backbend post will contain modifications for Camel pose.

Healthy & Happy,
Yoga Chuck

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