Monday, 23 April 2012

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Start up on your knees, with six inches between both the knees and feet. Support the spine by placing the hands on the back of the hips, with the fingers pointing down.

Keep the elbows drawing in towards one another and let the shoulders roll back. This way we start with an open chest, reversing the slouching tendency that many of us habitually have.

Inhale and lift the chest, exhale drop the head back. Inhale again and lift the chest, exhale and arch the torso back more, using the hands to support the spine.

It’s important to keep the chest lifted throughout the pose to minimize the compression in the lower back.
Are your hips forward and lined up above the knees? Then bring the right hand down to grab the right heel, followed by the left hand and left heel, with the thumbs on the outside and fingers inside.

If your hips collapse back and you sink into the spine as you grab the heels, be patient, keep the hands on the hips and keep lifting the chest.

Keep arching the spine back and work the hips forward whilst lengthening the tailbone down towards the floor. Be sure that the body weight hasn’t sunk back into the heels and hands by constantly lifting the chest.

The breath is our best friend, especially here in Ustrasana, where emphasizing the exhalation can help. If you’re feeling the intensity of the pose and freaking out, breath. To go deeper in the pose, breath.
Hold for 20 seconds with deep breaths and allow the heart to open and lift.

Reverse out of the pose by bringing the right hand to right hip, then the left hand to left hip. Press the knees down and use abdominal strength to lift and straighten the spine up.

Strengthens
  • Trapezius Muscles
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Erector Spinae

Stretches
  • Rib cage
  • Diaphragm
  • Throat

Stimulates
  • Respiratory System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Nervous System
  • Endocrine Glands

Benefits

  • Tones and stretches muscles and nerves attached to the spine
  • Compresses spine, relieving back problems
  • Good for diabetes
  • Helps with spondylitis of cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine
  • Helps with bronchial problems
  • Improves flexion of neck and spine
  • Flushes fresh blood through kidneys
  • Helps eliminate toxins
  • Good for vocal disorders
  • Helps with genito-urinary disorders of the kidneys, urinary bladder, ovaries, testes and prostate
  • Helps gastro-intestinal disorders: constipation, colitis, dyspepsia, liver and gall bladder problems



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