When talking about the backbends in yoga, the majority of people typically picture the Full Wheel. But for several yoga students, the Camel pose or Ustrasana is more accessible. One of the camel pose benefits is that you get to experience deep spinal extension without supporting your weight with your arms’ help. Experts also consider this pose to be a very flexible one, while with the help of props, you have several options for the arm position.
How to do Camel pose (Ustrasana)
- The first step on Camel pose is to come onto your knees and then place them around hip-width apart. Then again, tuck your toes.
- Draw the lower belly in and up by engaging your inner thighs and then roll the shoulders back.
- Lengthen through both your side waists when you inhale, and then lift your chest.
- By keeping your lower body stable, start to come into the backbend when exhaling. Without crunching your lower back or neck, you can keep your chest lifted.
- Try to find your blocks or heels with the hands when you are to lean back. You can also circle one arm up and then behind you.
- Firm your shoulder blades into the back, and by keeping the inner thighs engaged, stay for a few breaths.
- To help yourself come back, use inhalation, and with a neutral spine for a moment, sit on your heels.
Benefits of Ustrasana
Ustrasana or camel pose is like a camel that is journeying through the desert, and therefore, it needs endurance, stamina, and a commitment to inner awareness. This pose is considered a journey and not a destination, and at the end, you finally arrive at your location. The following are the benefits of the camel pose.
- Physical benefits
Physical benefits are the most superficial ones with the camel pose. It stimulates the nervous system, increases flexibility in the spine, improves circulation, and opens the chest and shoulders. Camel pose also decreases the fat on the thighs, lowers the blood pressure, and increases energy levels.
- Mental benefits
Another notable benefit of the camel pose is relief from anxiety and stress. Naturally, the minds follow the bodies, and therefore, with the increasing instability in the spine and relieving tension on the back, neck, and shoulders, your mind becomes flexible.
- Emotional benefits
Camel pose is responsible for the sense of compassion and caring. When your heart gets opened, the energy can freely flow, and every action and thought of yours is operated from a place of love. This pose may also bring up the deep-seated emotions you thought that you had already deal with a long time ago.
Camel pose modifications
- Blocks may be used on either side of your feet if you need a little more height for your hands.
- You can also keep your hands on the low back if using blocks and reaching back for your feet doesn’t work for you. Try to point your fingers down, and also squeeze the elbows towards each other.
Although Ustrasana may look like a difficult pose initially, this pose is wonderfully vulnerable that can benefit your body, mind, and soul. Never forget to breathe as you move your focus from physical discomfort to the emotional one, and then go to the intense cleansing process and mental clarity that emerges through it.