Ustrasana or the camel pose is an intermediate level back bend pose and popular for its variety of benefits. It is known to open the Anahata or the heart chakra, which makes your body calm and serene. This yoga pose has many advantages ranging from increasing flexibility to curing disorders.
Here we will discuss the steps, benefits, cautions and variations of this pose in detail.
HOW TO DO IT?
- Sit on the floor in kneel down position while keeping your knees at hip width distance and thigh perpendicular to the surface. Slightly move your thighs in an inward direction by narrowing your hip points, but don’t strain your glutes. Pull up your hip bones upward into the torso while keeping the hips as relaxed as possible. Your shins and toes should be placed firmly into the floor.
- Place your hands on the back of the pelvis and your palms should be placed on the butts. Spread the back, pelvis by using your hands and then push your tailbone towards the pubis. To prevent the movement of the groin to the front, counteract the forward motion of the Taliban by pressing the front thighs in backward direction. Take a deep breath and press your shoulder blades against the back ribs to lift the heart.
- Lean backwards with the support of the tail bone and shoulder blades. Keep your head up and hands on the pelvis. It is little difficult to drop straight back and touching the feet at the same time in the beginning but it becomes easier with practice.
- Lift the front of pelvis upwards and relax the front ribs. Pull up the lower ribs towards the upper chest and away from the pelvis. Place your palms at the base of heels and move your arms outward. Keep your neck in a comfortable position and avoid any straining.
- Maintain this pose for 30 seconds and lift the torso up by pushing the hip joint. To get back into original position, you have to bring your arms forward in front of the pelvis.
Tip for beginners
Since this is an intermediate level pose therefore first timers can face some difficulties in touching the sole with the palms without straining the back. In that case you should try to elevate your heels while touching the ground with your toes. Alternatively, you can also rest your hands on a block by positioning them just outside the heel. You can also ask someone to help you in balancing your head and neck during this pose.
- People suffering from injury of neck, knee and back should avoid this pose.
- Persons with lower back pain should also avoid this pose.
- Persons with high or low blood pressure, migraine or insomnia should not perform this pose.
- One should perform this pose under expert guidance and medical consultation prior to the practice of this pose is highly recommended.
This backbend helps in stretching the whole body, especially spine and thus rectify the posture of the body.
Shape up the body
This pose reduces fat on the trouble zones of the body means belly, arms, thighs, butts, etc. Thus it helps in shaping up the body and gives you a streamlined body.
Improves cardiovascular system
It opens up the chest and stretches its muscles. Thus, it improves the respiration process and it also helps in improving the blood flow around the body.
Improves digestive system
This pose has been found helpful in improving appetite, digestion and excretion of food. It cures constipation, gas or bloating and other digestion related problems.
Helps in genitor – urinary disorder
It opens the hip by stretching deep hip flexors and also helps in disorders of kidney, urinary bladder, ovaries, testes and prostate by releasing tension in these organs.
This yogic pose has been recommended for the people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, spondylitis, colitis, dyspepsia, obesity and voice disorders. Besides these major complications, it is also helpful in common problems like mild backache, fatigue, anxiety and menstrual discomfort.
This backbend demands full focus and attention because a slight mistake can cause head or neck injury. Thus, it helps in clearing your mind and increasing your focus, memory and alertness.
Stimulates endocrine system
It stretches the muscles of internal organs especially the neck region where thyroid and parathyroid glands are situated. This stretching movement helps in stimulating these glands and improves the production of their hormonal content. It also acts on the ovaries and thus cures the irregularities in periods.
Releases the stiffness
This pose conditions all the muscles in the body and releases the stress. Thus it relaxes the mind and body.
You can deepen the pose by performing the pose with your thighs, calves and inner feet touching.
Stand near a wall with your gaze facing the wall. Place your hands to on your lowest ribs while opening up your chest and hips by tucking your tail and pressing your hip into the wall.
Get into a kneeling lunge position by placing a leg in front at the right angle and another at the back by keeping back foot near to surface. Place your hands to the hips or tailbone or heart and start to open up the front part of the body while getting into the lunge position.
Move your hands to the place over your heart and perform the backbend. It is bit difficult to get into the original position without support of the hands. Get into the initial position and rest in child’s pose.
Get into the camel pose and then lift your left arm and rotate in a circle. Bring the left arm in the camel pose and then repeat the same rotating act with the right arm.
Transit from the hero’s seat and reach back while grabbing your heels. Lift your hips and then perform the backbend of camel pose. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
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