Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Kneeling on your mat, knees hip width apart, feet pointing straight back and resting on the floor. Take your hands onto your hips, lengthen the thighs, begin to grow through the spine, gently curving the spine back, broadening into the ribcage and lifting the heart centre up toward the sky. Allow your shoulders to completely release back, shoulder blades moving in to meet your spine. Your hips staying directly above your knees. As you exhale place your right palm over your right heal, and left palm over your left heal. If possible, place the palms on the soles of the feet. Press the feet with the palms, and gently release your head back, continue to keep your thighs perpendicular with the floor.
A subtle inward rotation of the thighs is recommended to keep the sacroiliac joints stable, supporting the small of the back.
You can also modify Ustrasana by turning your toes under and reaching for the risen heels.
Take a few lung filling, smooth, rhythmic breaths into the heart centre. Spending around half a minute in this uplifting pose.
To come out of Camel, release the hands one by one and rest them onto your hips, with a gently exhale, engage your core and thighs, with control and attention not to twist into the back, begin to return to an upright position – sit back on your heels, take your head down to the floor in front of your knees, and spend a few breaths in a gentle forward bend to counter pose your backbend.
Benefit : The whole spine is toned and stretched. Those with rounded shoulders and hunched backs will benefit from Ustrasana. It also massages and stimulates your abdominal organs and Thyroid glands. Due to the expansion in the chest region, it’s a fab place for optimal breathing.
Practice daily, and enjoy – Kx
Those suffering with weakness/pain/discomfort in the knees or back should refrain from attempting this posture.