Camel Pose –Ustrasana
Camel Pose is a gentle backbend asana and is important as it prepares the body (and mind) for more difficult backbends. It is best to enter this pose from either Child pose or Hero pose. Camel Pose opens the chest, working deep into the Heart Chakra, stretches the shoulders and abdomen and provides increased flexibility to the lower back.
Camel Pose is further very stimulating for the nervous system. It improves flexibility of the neck and spine, relieves backache and helps degenerative spinal problems such as kyphoscoliotic deformities and cervical spondylosis. By stretching the abdominal organs, Camel Pose helps constipation, and it also stretches the throat and thyroid and parathyroid
Ustrasana – Step by Step
1. Come up onto your knees. Take padding under your knees if they are sensitive. Place your hands onto your hips and lift the torso from the base of the spine and pelvis so as to open the chest. Tuck your tailbone under and lengthen the thighs, lifting the collarbone higher and arch your back.
2. Reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your heels, slowly dropping back and reaching for the heels. Eventually, the palms can be placed on the soles of the feet. Roll the shoulders further back and lift the ribs, arching deep into the back while pressing the hips forward. Drop the head and neck back, without straining, and lift the chin. Stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute.
3. Tighten your knees and inhale deeply as you release the hands and bring the body gently back up to the knees, lifting the pelvis with the strength of the thigh and buttock muscles. Rest back down into either Child or Hero Pose.
Model Penny Anstey
Photograph Brett Rubin