Ushtrasana - The Camel Pose
"Ushtra" refers to 'camel' in Sanskrit. In this yoga pose the practitioner's body resembles a camel, hence the name.
- Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Kneel down on the floor maintaining the gap between the knees.
- Only your knees and toes should be touching the floor.
- Rest your buttocks on the heels and sit at ease.
- Hold the heels of corresponding legs with your hands.
- Press the heels down with the palms.
- Inhale and exhale a few times in quick succession.
- As you inhale slowly raise your posterior from the heels and come up on your knees and toes.
- Pull the shoulders in and simultaneously push your hips outwards.
- Place your palms on the buttocks with fingers pointing down.
- Exhale slowly and raise your chest upwards.
- Bending your trunk at the waist, bring your head and neck backwards, arching the spine as much as possible.
- Keep your face pointing upward.
- Look up.
- Complete exhalation.
- Breathe deeply 4-5 times.
- Change the position of your feet. The upper part of the feet should now be resting on the floor.
- Drop your hands straight down to catch the ankles.
- Continue to bend backwards and increase the arch without straining your neck.
- Stay in this pose for about a minute, breathing deeply and in rhythm.
- To exit, bring your hands back to the waist and then bring the upper part of your body up, with inhalation.
- Kneel straight up.
- Assume the sitting posture.
- People with neck or lower back injury should not perform this pose.
- High and low blood pressure patients should avoid this pose.
- If you suffer from migraine, do not practice Ushtrasana.
- This pose helps expand the chest and thus increases lung capacity.
- The abdominal organs are stimulated.
- The entire chest, abdomen and neck get a good stretching making them flexible.
- Slouching can be rectified with regular practice of Ushtrasana.
- The lumbar vertebrae are massaged and they attain flexibility.