Camel Pose Yoga (Ustrasana) is an energetic and useful backbend that counteracts slouching and reduces discomfort from slouching before a computer or while driving.
Camel Pose in Sanskrit means Ustrasana, with “ustra” indicating “camel” and “asana” equaling “pose”. This is a common stance in Vinyasa and Power Yoga courses and well worth the effort to do it.
Camel Pose Benefits
Practicing Ustrasana, you are on the way to stretch the chest, abdominals, quadriceps, and hip flexors. It improves posture and strengthens back muscles while also boosting spinal flexibility. Also, respiratory issues should be the last thing you worry about, as this position expands the chest and lungs, thereby increasing breathing capacity.
The impact of camel yoga pose also counts the kidneys by stimulating its operation, which aids digestion and energizes the body.
As such, camel posing is beneficial to persons who suffer from digestive issues, thyroid disorders, and related complications when practiced regularly.
Good things don’t stop there. Ustrasana pose, often known as a “heart-opening” yoga posture, activates and balances the fourth and fifth chakras located at the heart and throat, respectively.
Slouching dropped chins and bad posture are common in many practitioners, indicating that the heart and throat chakras are blocked off and protected.
As a result, practicing this subject can occasionally elicit stronger emotional responses from the practitioner than in other positions. It’s crucial to have a peaceful awareness of your sensations; fear of your sentiments can cause rigidity in the body, leading to damage.
7 Steps for Camel Pose Yoga
So, how to do camel pose? Follow suit with the instructions below if you want to dip your toes deeper into this practice.
1. Bring your knees to a 90-degree angle, and your legs should be hip-width distance. It would be best if you placed hands on hips, thumbs on the sacrum, and the bony plate belong to the backbone’s base. And then, internally spin your thighs, pushing them against one another, keeping your hips above your knees.
2. Exhale and push your tailbone toward your knees to create a gap between lower vertebrae.
3. Raise sternum and move your elbows closer to each other on the next inhale to permit the expansion of the rib cage.
4. As you descend your hands toward your heels, maintain a healthy chest, core engaged, the length of your spine, and chin tucked.
5. In this stage, you should drape your fingers over the soles of your feet and press your hands’ heels against your feet’s heels. Continue to raise through your sternum.
6. Elevate your shoulders to allow your trapezius muscles to help raise your shoulder blades and cushion cervical spine. Remember to lower your neck and head gently and take a glance at your nose’s tip.
7. Finally, to come out of the yoga camel stance, return your chin to your chest as well as your hands on your hips, thumbs up on the sacrum. When you gently rise, keep your lower tummy engaged and your hands supporting your lumbar spine.
Variations & Modifications
Ustrasana posture – one of Bikram Yoga’s 26 poses, is a fun approach to increase spine flexibility. To avoid damage and strain, it’s critical to understand how to do it properly. Always keep in mind that you should never force yourself into a stance.
Practice a reduced version until you acquire the flexibility and strength to move deeper safely. To discover a variant that suits you, make the following changes:
- First of all, tuck your toes to lift your heels if touching your hands to your feet is difficult for you.
- In case reaching your feet is still a long shot, place your hands on yoga blocks outside each foot.
- You can squeeze a block between your thighs to make the posture more challenging.
- Throughout the position, push your thighs, calves, and inner foot together for an added effort.
- Next, crossing your forearms and grabbing the opposite ankles is a helpful way to open up your chest, shoulders, and arms.
Cautions for Newcomers
Ustrasana, when done correctly, may work wonders for the entire body. When doing this stance, keep the following facts in mind:
1. When practicing backbends, it’s important to maintain length between your vertebrae and avoid collapsing or crunching into the position. Lift and stretch your sternum toward the sky, keeping your pelvis steady.
2. Slowly deepen the posture, only going as far as your body would allow without pain.
3. Pull your front thighs back while drawing your tailbone forward, which will support your pelvis as you rise and extend your spine instead of compressing it as you lean back.
4. To understand how to align your thighs, hips, and pubic bone, stand against a wall. At that time, you must kneel against the wall while pressing your pubic bone into it. Lean back into the backbend as far as you can while keeping your thighs firmly against the wall.
Especially, you don’t want to let your thighs slip away from the wall only to reach your heels.
5. Make sure your neck isn’t strained by bringing your head back too far.
Camel pose should not be attempted if you have high or low blood pressure, sleeplessness, or a migraine. Those with a low back or neck injury should also stay away from this position. Don’t forget to stay within your own capabilities and restrictions.
Before doing yoga, visit your doctor to see whether you have any medical problems.
Camel Pose Yoga may be both emotionally and physically uplifting. Throughout the posture, pay attention to your body’s signals. Relax a little if your breathing gets short and tight. Return your concentration to your breathing and the current moment to keep your thoughts calm and stable.
Ustrasana, like a camel, may transport you to new and unfamiliar places within yourself. Slow down, stay in the now, and let these new pieces of yourself open up.