The Camel Pose is known as the Ustrasana or Ushtrasana in Sanskrit language, where ‘Ushtra’ means Camel.
This ‘heart opening Yoga pose’ is a deep backward bend and is an important pose for those who practice Bikram Yoga as it is one of the 26 poses which are a part of the Bikram Yoga sequence.
This pose stretches the neck, thighs, chest, abdomen as well as the hips, groins and ankles. It build up the back and the arm muscles and strengthens the core. It is said to stimulate the abdominal organs and the neck. This pose imparts flexibility to the neck and spine and creates space in the chest and lungs.
The Camel Pose refines posture, helps treat respiratory ailments and brings relief from menstrual discomfort. This pose improves digestion and energizes the body by alleviating fatigue and stress. It relieves the practitioner of backache, constipation and excess fat on thighs. This pose is good to improve overall health of an individual.
Getting into Pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Advanced
Initial Position: Kneel on the floor
Drishti or Gaze: Forward
- Begin with kneeling on the floor and keep your hands on your hips. Let the top of the feet be resting on the floor.
- Lengthen your spine gradually, bend backwards as much as you can and grab hold of the balls of your feet with your hands. After you achieve this position, throw back your head curling it backwards and elongate your neck.
- Gently slide your hands to the soles of your feet and hold the pose for 5-6 breaths and repeat.
- Cross Ankle Camel Pose – Advanced Version: Perform the Camel Pose as described above and to deepen it cross your forearms and hold the opposite ankles or opposite soles of the feet. This will deepen the stretch and enhance the benefits of the Camel Pose even more.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Hero Pose (Virasana)
- Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Beginners are advised to tuck their toes under so that the heels get elevated. This makes it a little easier for them to touch their feet with their hands.
Do not practice this pose, if you have:
- High or low B.P.
- Lower back or Neck injury