USTRASANA – CAMEL POSE
Camel Pose is the posture that most people experience intense bodily reactions such as fear/anxiety, dizziness or nausea. The Sanskrit name Ustrasana is a combination of ‘ustra’ (meaning Camel) and ‘asana’ (meaning Posture). The benefits of this posture are enormous and just being present and conscious of these intense feelings is half the battle. It’s all about relaxing in the posture and letting yourself open up to all these natural feelings, just be there, and move through you! This yogasana is one another yogasana from a series of bending and stretching yoga poses. It includes backward bend of the body while in sitting position. It is an advanced yogasana which has several health benefits.
Steps to perform Camel Pose – Ustrasana
1. Come to your knees and sit back on your heels. Place your palms together in front of your heart, thumbs pressed softly on your chest enough to feel your heartbeat. Engage your core, elongate your spine, lift your chest and relax your shoulders. Direct focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and pause, then exhale slowly and pause before repeating. Breathe consciously like this 10 times.
2. Rest on your knees and shins, bringing your hips over your knees. Make sure your knees and toes are a hips’ width apart. Place your palms on your lower back with fingers pointing up. Gently draw your sacrum down, sucking in your abdomen to support the lower back. Keep your chin in toward your chest and gradually lean back, actively pressing your hips forward. Hug your shoulder blades toward each other. This will organically lift your chest and relax your shoulders, releasing pressure off the neck. Don’t let your mind wander; train your attention to be focused on your breath and body.
3. Stay where you are, or reach for your heels with your hands. You may prefer tucking your toes to reach the heels easier or keep the top of your feet pressing the floor. If it’s comfortable for your neck, relax your head back. Hold for four to eight breaths, from 30 seconds to a minute.
4. To come out of the pose, release your hands one at a time and place on your lower back. Slowly lift up from your sternum using your thigh muscles, head and shoulders coming up last. Sit on your heels. Rest in a child’s pose for 10 breaths.
Health Benefits of Camel Pose – Ustrasana
- Compresses spine, relieving back problems
- Opens rib cage, lungs and digestive system
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Great for the lungs and many bronchial problems
- Strengthens back and shoulder muscles
- Improves flexion of the neck
- Stretches the throat
- Flushes blood through the kidneys
- Helps eliminate toxins
- Opens the entire front of your body.
- Stimulates the respiratory, circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems.
- Can provide an intense mobilization of your digestive system, especially the esophagus, and tones the kidneys.