Sanskrit: Ustrasana Western Term: Camel Pose
Origin of Word
Ustra = camel Asana= pose
Type of Asana: backbend
1. Kneel on your knees, keeping a hips width distance between the knees (approx. 2 fists, 6 inches). Firm but don’t tighten your buttox, and imagine drawing your sits bones up in towards your torso. Press the shins and feet into the ground and come to stand on your shins.
2. Roll your shoulder blades down your back and bring your hands (with the fingers facing up) on your lower back/sacrum area. Press your hands forward on your lower back to bring your pelvis forward as you begin to arch your upper back. You can keep your hands on your lower back or go further by dropping your hands down to your ankles or feet.
3. Melt your heart down and push your pelvis forward. Keep your head in a neutral position or release your head to look behind you. Make sure your ribs aren’t sticking straight up toward the ceiling (which could bring pressure into the lower back). Release the front ribs and lift the front of the pelvis up towards the ribs.
4. Stay in camel for 30 seconds to a minute. To come out of the pose, bring your hands back to the lower back, inhale and lift the head and torso up by dropping the hip points down to the floor.
5. Rest in child’s pose (balasana) for a few breaths as a counter pose after taking camel.
*keep thighs rotated inwardly slightly
*outer hips stay soft
*keep upper ribs in (not protruding towards the ceiling) and keep front of pelvis lifting towards the torso
Emphasized Body Parts: stretches the front of the body, ankles, thighs and groins; stretches the deep hip flexor (psoas); strengthens back muscles; improves posture; stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck
Mental Achievements: Opens heart to love and the ability to be vulernable and be loved
Therapeutic Use: respiratory ailments, mild backache, fatigue, anxiety, and menstrual discomfort
-if ustrasana hurts your neck, do the pose against the wall. Curl your toes under and press the soles of the feet against the wall, lean back and press the top of the head against the wall.
For Advanced Yogis:
-deepen the pose by bringing the legs togetherà thighs, calves, and inner feet touching
Chakra: Anahata Chakra or 4th chakra, symbolized by a twelve-petaled-green lotus
-this chakra is found between the heart and lungs
-bija mantra or “seed sound” of 4th chakra is “yam.” Repeat this sound in camel pose to connect to your 4th chakra.
(INSERT PIC OF Solar-plexus-chakra.jpg)
Ancient Sanskirt Proverb: “It is called friendship, when seeing someone, or touching them, or hearing them, or talking to them, touches your heart. Otherwise it is just an acquaintance…”
*If you can’t touch your feet without compressing your lower back, you can turn your toes under and elevate your heels.
**Do not perform camel if you have high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, or serious lower back or neck injury
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/688. Viewed 3/1/13.
http://tulaa7.com/chakra4-green.html. Viewed 3/1/13.