CAMEL POSE OR USTRASANA
The Ustrasana is a Sanskrit word which means “Camel pose” Ustra means camel and asana means pose . Camel pose is an intermediate level back-bending yoga posture known to open Anahata (Heart chakra). It is a deep backward bend kneeling position. It improves spinal flexibility, while also strengthening the back muscles and improving posture. Ustrasana also stimulates the kidneys,
which improves digestion. This pose energizes the body and helps people facing constipation problems . A good back warm up is needed to do this pose . Warm ups are must before doing any pose . If you are a beginner and you are doing it for the first time then it should be done in the supervision of an experienced Yoga instructor .
HOW TO DO CAMEL POSE (USTRASANA)
Step 1: Sit in wind release pose or . Place your hands beside your hips . Your feet should be flat on the ground , the knees and feet should be together or separated however you feel comfortable .
Step 2: Slowly roll your shoulders and lean backward reaching the right heel and then the left heel respectively.
Step 3: Push your hips forward keeping your thighs vertical and distribute your weight to both legs and arms simultaneously.
Step 4: The chest should be fully open facing the ceiling . Use your back muscles and thighs strength to hold the asana as long as you can .
Step 5: Hold for 30-60 seconds. When you release yourself from the pose Inhale and lift your back by pushing your hips down towards the floor. Your head should come up last.
Step 6: Return back to starting position by releasing hand one by one .
Step7: Do any counter pose such as paschimuttanasana or shashank asana (baby pose) after performing this asana .
Beginner’s Tips for Camel Pose
Warming up before any asana are essentials. If you are a beginner and you are doing this pose for the first time. It is to be done in the presence of an experienced yoga instructor . Back bending warm up poses such as Bhujangasana, Setuasana etc can be performed for the back warmup. Beginner’s
who are not able to touch their hands to their feet. They can use block placing beside their ankle. First, try to turn your toes under and try to place your shin bone on the floor. Place the blocks just outside each heel, and stand them at their highest height (usually about 9 inches).
When the head is tilted backward while holding the breath , the pressure of the blood may increase in the brain and cause dizziness. It is advisable to keep the head straight if dizziness is felt while doing this asana otherwise the head should be tilted backward slowly. It is one of the advance poses
of hath yoga. Don't force yourself while doing this asana modifications and variations are there to modify the asanas. Don’t force yourself while doing this pose .
- Those who are facing back injury such as lumbago should avoid this asana.
- People suffering from hernia should avoid this.
- People having high or low blood pressure should strictly avoid this.
- People having migraine should also avoid this asana.
Benefits of Camel pose.
- Helps in reducing thigh fat.
- Helps in hips opening, stretching deep hip flexes
- Stretches and strengthening to the shoulders
- Expands the abdominal region.
- Improves the flexibility of the spine.
- Strengthen thighs and hips.
- Helps in constipation.
- Helps in improving overall posture.
- Stretches the thighs, groins, throat and chest.
Breathing : Try to breathe normally once you reach the final position. Do not breathe deeply because the chest is already Stretched.
Modifications and their variations
- Keep your toes tucked rather than placing the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Place a folded blanket under your knees for extra padding.
- Keep your hands on your lower back and pelvis back for your heels to work on proper alignment as you do camel pose.
- Press your thighs and hips against a wall to keep the lower body in proper.
- If you are facing problem with the back or your back is not flexible enough you can place blocks beside your ankles and reach them rather then reaching to your ankles.
- You can place a block in between your thighs to maintain alignment.
- It is advisable to keep the head straight if dizziness is felt while doing this asana.
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