Camel Pose, known as “Ushtrasana” in Sanskrit, is a powerful and effective yoga asana that opens up the chest, shoulders, and hip flexors, while also strengthening the back muscles.
This backbend pose is not only physically beneficial but also offers a sense of emotional release and mental clarity. However, like any yoga pose, practicing Camel Pose requires proper alignment and good technique to ensure safety and maximize its benefits.
In this guide, let us look at the camel pose, its benefits, and step-by-step instructions on how to practice Camel Pose effectively and safely.
Camel Pose Benefits
Before we delve into the practice itself, let’s explore some of the benefits that Camel Pose has to offer.
Improved Posture and Flexibility
Camel Pose opens the chest and shoulders, which can lead to better posture. Because it also stretches the spine, the camel pose can aid in improving a crouched or hunched-up torso.
This pose stretches the entire front of the body, including the hip flexors, quadriceps, and abdomen, thus promoting flexibility and increasing range of motion.
Emotional Release and Energy
Backbend poses like the camel pose is associated with the release of stored emotions and stress, offering a sense of emotional liberation. The deep stretch and opening of the chest can also lead to increased energy and vitality.
Strengthened Back Muscles
The camel pose targets the back muscles and works them up. The muscles along the spine, including the erector spinae, are engaged to support the backbend. This leads to an overall increase in the strength of these muscles, resulting in a stronger back.
Steps to Practise Camel Pose
Now that you know the benefits of camel pose, let’s take a step-by-step approach to practising it effectively.
Step 1: Warm Up
Before attempting the camel pose, ensure you’ve warmed up your body adequately. Engage in a series of gentle stretches and warm-up poses to prepare the back, hips, and shoulders for the deeper stretch of the camel pose. You can start with poses like Cat-Cow, Downward Dog, and Bridge Pose as a segue into the camel pose.
Step 2: Kneeling
You can start the pose by kneeling on your yoga mat with your knees hip-width apart. Ensure that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor, and your feet are relaxed.
Step 3: Align Your Hips
Place your hands on your hips, and gently press your hips forward. This will get you in a position to arch your back and prevent excessive compression in the lower back.
Step 4: Arch Your Back and Reach For Your Heels
As you inhale, lift your chest and arch your back gently. Imagine lengthening your spine from the crown of your head to your tailbone. As you continue the backbend, reach your hands one at a time towards your heels. Keep your thumbs on the outside of your feet and fingers on the inside.
Step 5: Engage Core Muscles and Open Your Chest
To maintain stability in the pose, engage your core muscles. This will support your lower back and prevent excessive strain. Press your hips forward while lifting your chest towards the ceiling. This will deepen the stretch in your chest and front body.
Step 6: Holding the Pose
Keep your neck in a neutral position or gently let it drop back. Remember to keep on breathing with slow, deep breaths.
Step 7: Exiting the Pose
To come out of the pose, first, bring your hands back to your hips. Straighten your chest and slowly come back up to a kneeling position.
Safety Tips When Practising The Camel Pose
– Never skip the warm-up before starting the camel pose.
– Avoid pushing yourself too far back and only bend as much as your back allows.
– If you have any neck, back, or shoulder injuries, consult with a yoga instructor or healthcare professional before attempting the camel pose.
– Always engage your core muscles to support your lower back during the backbend.
– Use props like yoga blocks to make the pose more accessible, especially if you can’t reach your heels comfortably.
Thus, the camel pose is a terrific yoga asana that offers both physical and emotional benefits. If you want to master the camel pose, download the FITPASS app find the best yoga classes near you, and start practicing the camel pose using the steps given in this blog. Ensure you follow the safety tips as well so that the pose remains effective without leading to any strain or injury.
- What is Camel Pose?
Camel pose is a popular backbend yoga asana that is great for improving posture and strengthening the spine.
- What are the benefits of practicing Camel Pose?
There are many benefits of Camel Pose like improved posture and flexibility, and strengthening of the back muscles.
- What are some modifications for beginners in Camel Pose?
To ensure proper hip alignment, beginners can practice the pose in front of a wall, keeping their hips in contact with the wall. Another modification is to use a chair at the back for better support.