Most yogis (even the most experienced ones) have a difficult time with camel pose. Understandably so, Ustrasana is a very intense deep back bend. A recent survey indicated that the most common word used to describe camel was "emotional". That is because camel pose opens up the entire front side of our bodies and our heart chakra which is associated with our emotions.
When done correctly, the benefits are amazing for our bodies. Focusing on the benefits and getting into the pose correctly will allow us to actually enjoy it. After four years of practice, I actually look forward to camel and no longer fear it! But be careful, beginners are cautioned to practice with instructors and hold the pose for no longer than 20 seconds.
How to do a Camel Pose
1. Begin by kneeling on the front of your mat. Knees should be hip apart at least 6 inches (measure by placing two fists in between your knees).
2. The souls of your feet face downward.
3. Begin by placing your palms on your lower back for support.
4. Drop your head and begin to arch your back pushing hips and pelvis forward.
5. Withdraw your hands one at a time and place them on your heels. Grip firmly.
6. Arch your back until your arms are straight. Keep mouth and jaw closed and eyes open. Breathe deeply. Hold the pose for at least 20 seconds.
7. Bring your hands back onto your lower back for support and begin to slowly straighten your back. It is normal to feel a bit dizzy and emotional.
8. Sit on your heels and breathe deeply to bring down your heart rate.
Benefits of Camel Pose
√ Improves posture
√ Opens up the chest
√ Relieves lower back pain
√ Stimulates glands
√ Improves flexibility
on an Ashtanga Yoga Retreat and get better at performing all the yoga poses that will take your practice to the next level!