Benefits of Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Camel Pose is a backbend that stretches the whole front of the body. It is performed on the knees and is often used as preparation for deeper backbends. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words “ustra” (meaning “camel”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”). Practicing Ustrasana daily can be a great way to relieve neck and back pain caused by slouching in front of a computer or driving.

Physical Benefits

  • Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins,
  • Abdomen and chest, and throat
  • Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck

Emotional Benefits

  • Respiratory ailments
  • Mild backache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual discomfort

Beginner's Tip

Beginners very often aren't able to touch their hands to their feet without straining their back or neck. First, try to turn your toes under and elevate your heels. If this doesn't work, the next thing to do is to rest each hand on a block. Position the blocks just outside each heel, and stand them at their highest height (usually about 9 inches). If you're still having difficulty, get a chair. Kneel for the pose with your back to the chair, with your calves and feet below the seat and the front edge of the seat touching your buttocks. Then lean back and bring your hands to the sides of the seat or high up on the front chair legs.

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