Ustrasana is an intermediate-level back-bending Yogasana used to open Anahata (Heart chakra). This yoga posture provides flexibility and power to the body and likewise helps in improving digestion.
Pronounciation : Oohs-tra-aa-sun-aa
Ustra means Camel and Asana means Posture or Pose, hence in english it is known as Camel Pose.
How to do Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- Kneel on the yoga mat and then put your arms on the hips.
- Keep your knees at the shoulder-width apart and the soul of your feet should be facing the ceiling.
- As you inhale, push your tailbone in the direction of the pubis as if being pulled from the navel.
- Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet until the arms are straight.
- Do not pressure or flex your neck however hold it in a neutral position.
- Stay on this posture for a few breaths.
- Breathe out and slowly come again to the starting position. Withdraw your arms and place them again to your hips as you straighten up.
Beginners Tip For Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- You could place a cushion under your knees to ease your way into the pose.
Benefits of the Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- Improves digestion.
- Stretches and opens the front of the body. It additionally strengthens the back and shoulders.
- Relieves from the backache.
- Improves flexibility of the backbone and also improves posture.
- Helps overcome menstrual discomfort. artofliving.org
Not Keeping Your Thighs Upright
One of the commonest issues in Ustrasana is keeping the thighs upright. As you’re taking the chest back, you need to be sure that your thighs should not be following it.
To test if that is occurring, take your pose over to a wall. Kneel on the floor with front of your thighs touching the wall. As you go back, be sure that your thighs keep in contact with the wall the entire time.
Not Reaching Your Heels
You could find that you may not touch your heels as you begin monitoring your thigh place. If that is the case, regulate your grip by taking one of the many heel variations described below. This is efficient training for both beginners and advanced level students. verywellfit.com
Modifications and Variations
Want it easy?
- Use blocks on both sides of your feet for those who want a little more height for your arms.
- You can hold your arms in your lower back if reaching to your feet or utilizing blocks would not be just right for you. Your fingers must be pointing down and you’ll be squeezing your elbows in the direction of one another.
Ready for the tough one?
- Try taking hold of opposite ankles.
- You may also try the variation where one arm holds your heel whereas the opposite one reaches towards the ceiling.
- Also, try the thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana)
Ustrasana Preparatory Poses
Preparatory poses helps to your body up and prepare you for further advanced yoga poses. As Camel Pose (Ustrasana) is considered to be an intermediate stage pose, the sequence of the yoga poses earlier than this pose will also be from the intermediate stage. They may be sequenced as under:
Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
These easy 12 steps should be a great way to start the opening of the whole body. You can do this after just a few stretches of the neck, shoulders, arms, legs, hips, and back.
With correct breathing technique, you would use this yoga pose for both stretching or cardio to train the muscles to go further for difficult poses. You can repeat this 12 times or 6 times depending upon your fitness level.
Since in Camel Pose (Ustrasana) the thighs must have the power for the stability of the body and assist the hips, Revolved Triangle Pose will give that opening to the thighs.
In this pose standing with feet at a shoulder distance aside, raise the arms at shoulder level and twist your upper body from the middle to the left side from the hip.
Bring the right arm near the left foot and place the palm on the ground. The left foot should be positioned at 90 levels outside and the right foot a detailed 30 levels inside. This pose helps to twist the body, tightening of the hips, and brings the body in control which helps in Camel Pose (Ustrasana).
This easy variation of the Boat Pose helps in opening up the thighs, back and shoulders.
This opening of the thighs and shoulders together with the lower back provides the push required to enter Ustrasana.
Seat with legs stretched out in front of you, take a breath and lift the legs and thighs about 40 degrees from the yoga mat, shifting the upper body a bit behind and inclined about 60 degrees.
Balancing the body on the buttocks, hold your upper body and lower body inclined at a comfortable position, and use your arms as a stability tool by keeping them straight in front of you.
In this yoga pose the required stretch to the whole back with the assist of the arms across the ankles is considered as a part of flow earlier than the application of Ustrasana.
Lie flat on your abdomen with legs at hip-width apart, and your arms by the side of your body. Fold your knees, take your arms backward, and hold your ankles. Breathe in, and raise your chest off the floor and pull your legs up towards the back.
Precautions and Contraindications of the Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- You must refrain from Ustrasana if you have had an injury or chronic problems with your knees, shoulders, neck, or back.
- Don’t force your body into the pose earlier than it’s flexible enough to bend without straining. Bend back far as you’ll be able to bend naturally. With continuous practice, you’ll gradually build your flexibility to maintain the pose.
Ustrasana may be adopted up with Setu Bandhasana. This asana helps to enhance the immune system. If you need to learn how to do Setubandhasana, then click on this link – How to do Setubandhasana