Camel Pose In Yoga: (Ustrasana)
Camel Pose in yoga or Ustrasana is one of important yoga pose of Hatha Yoga. Where “Ustra” means a “camel” in the Sanskrit language and “Asana” means “Pose” that’s why the name “Camel Pose.” This pose is an intermediate-level back-bending pose. It is also a good chest opener pose. In this pose, the entire spine is bent backward and the chest and upper belly look like the back of a camel.
Camel Pose in Yoga (Ustrasana) Quick details
|English Name||Camel Pose|
Camel Pose benefits the following muscles:
- Upper Back
- Middle Back
- Lower Back
Story of the camel from Mahabharata
There is an interesting story about a lazy camel in the Shanti parva of Mahabharata. There was a lazy camel who did not want to go out to get food. So it remained in one place and prayed to Brahma. God Brahma gave him a long neck so that camel can eat all the leaves of the trees from the higher branches without much effort. The lazy camel tried that way and in greediness, it inserted its neck into a cave. There was a fox inside the cave that bit the head of the camel and injured it.
How to do Camel Pose Yoga – Steps
- Kneel on the floor, keeping your thighs and your feet together, your toes should be pointing back and resting on the floor.
- Put your palms on your hips and stretch your thighs. Now curve your spine and extend your ribs.
- Now breathe out and place your left palm over your left heel and your right palm over your right heel. Try to place your palms on your sales of the feet, if possible.
- Put pressure on the feet with your palms and throw your head backward. Push your spine towards your thighs and make sure to keep it perpendicular to the floor.
- Contract your buttocks and further stretch the dorsal and coccyx region of your spine, while keeping your neck stretched back.
- You can hold this position for about half a minute with normal breathing.
- To come out of the pose release your hands one by one and place them on your hips. Then sit on the floor and relax.
Benefits of Camel Pose in yoga
- People suffering from hunched back and dropping shoulders will be benefitted from this asana.
- The spine is toned and stretched.
- This asana can even be tried by persons having a spinal injury and also by elderly people.
- This pose is good for gymnasts and dancers.
- Camel pose also helps to activate the heart Chakra (Anahat Chakra) which is known as the energy center for self and universal love.
- In this pose, the muscles of the neck are stretched fully which stimulates the throat Chakra (Vishuddha chakra) that balances the energies of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
- Camel Pose gives confidence to the practitioner and helps to gain stamina and self-esteem.
- This pose is particularly helpful to those persons who have lots of emotional conflicts because of selfishness, jealousy, possessiveness, and lack of communication. Camel Pose cleanses the conflicting energies and gives clarity to the communication.
- Camel pose is an excellent chest opener that improves the respiratory system and thus helps in ailments like asthma and bronchitis.
- The abdominal stretch in this asana stimulates the digestive system and helps in treating ailments like constipation, lack of appetite, and colitis.
- This pose does excellent work on the reproductive system by helping to cure disorders of the urinary bladder, Kidneys, ovaries, prostate, and testes.
- This pose helps in treating irregular and painful mensuration but the practice of this pose should be avoided during the mensuration period.
- Pregnant women and menstruation: – Women during pregnancy and postnatal should avoid this pose and women, in general, should not practice this pose during menstruation although the regular practice of this pose will help women to treat irregular and painful menstruation.
- Body Breath connection:- During this pose it is very important to be aware of body-breath connections. The proper alignment of the knees and feet along with the breath awareness is very much needed for this backbend pose. Those practitioners who lack this body breath awareness should avoid this pose and yoga teachers should also make students aware of this concept.
- Practitioners suffering from high blood pressure, epilepsy, migraine, vertigo, acute back pain, slipped discs, advanced spondylitis, etc should avoid this pose. Practitioners who have undergone any sort of trauma in their lives need to be careful while practicing this pose.
- People having weak body structures should either avoid this pose or must do it under the guidance of an expert yoga trainer.
Camel Pose Modifications
- If you find this pose challenging then a few easy ways can be followed to practice this yoga pose.
- You can take support of the wall; by kneeling in front of the wall with your stomach close to the wall you can bring your entire body close to the wall. You can push the wall with your stomach, while taking the support bring your arms behind and bend backward.
- You can take the help of the chair by placing it close to your back and keeping your legs pushed inside the legs of the chair. While using the support of the arms of the chair you can stretch your arms behind you.
- If your knees are sensitive then you can use some blankets or cushions under them.
- If your arms do not reach the floor or your heels then you can take them behind you and place them on the chair placed behind you or on the wall.
- If someone is suffering from a stiff neck then he can use the support of a cushioned stool just close to the neck for support. You can place the stool close to the wall so that it doesn’t slip.
Tips for beginners
- The practitioners must open their chests and lift their rib cages bending gently into the backbend; they should not worry if their hands do not reach for their feet.
- The practitioner must point the tailbone toward the floor before bending backward and then slightly gently push the pelvis forward.
- You must engage your quads to keep your thighs at a right angle at your knees on the floor.
- Your knees should not be wider than hip-width apart and don’t squeeze your buttocks or pooch your belly out.
In Camel pose the focus is on the thighs and the entire back, bending backward and inwards. This pose requires body movement with perfect alignment and connection of the breath with the movement of the back. When you are doing this pose for the first time it is always advisable to do it under the guidance of an expert teacher.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the camel pose good for?
The camel pose is a Chest opener pose it stretches the front body that includes the chest, abdomen, and quadriceps. It stretches and stimulates the entire spinal code. Helps in developing better posture, hunched back and dropping shoulders, good for gymnasts and dancers, and helps to clean emotional energies.
Why is camel pose so difficult?
There are lots of physical and emotional tensions in our chest, while Camel Pose opens up and stretches the entire front side of the body. Camel Pose is an intermediate pose, with regular practice as the practitioner gains flexibility in the body, which will help to perform this pose easily after some time.
How to do camel pose for beginners?
The step-by-step procedure to do this pose is given above in the article and also tips for beginners to take care of while performing this asana.
What is Ustrasana and its benefits?
Ustrasana is a chest opener back bending pose which has many benefits for the practitioners, it helps people suffering from hunched back and dropping shoulders, spinal injuries, good for gymnasts and dancers, helps to activate the heart Chakra, balances the energies of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, helps to gain stamina and self-esteem, helpful to people having lots of emotional conflicts, helps in asthma and bronchitis, helps in constipation, lack of appetite and colitis, helps to cure disorders of the urinary bladder, Kidneys, ovaries, prostate, and testes, helps in treating irregular and painful mensuration, etc.
You May Also Like:
- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
- Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- wheel pose(Chakrasana)
- Sirsasana (Headstand)
Share your experience of doing Camel Pose (Ustrasana) and let us know if you have any questions or comments regarding this Pose in the comments section below.