Understanding the Health Benefits of Camel Pose [Ustrasana] in Yoga

Camel pose is an intense stretch that benefits the spine and front body by providing relief from backache, strengthening of lower back muscles, correcting rounded shoulders, stimulating thyroid gland and kidneys, relieving backache. If high blood pressure, herniated disk or other lower back conditions exist then this pose should not be performed.

Health Benefits of Camel Pose:
Camel pose (Ustrasana in Sanskrit) has long been one of the most beloved backbend yoga poses due to its many remarkable health advantages.

Strengthen the gluteal, arm, and back muscles

Stretch the back and shoulders

Stretches the abdomen, chest, and neck area.

Stretch the groin, thighs, hip flexors and ankles

Reduces chest and lung tension to ease lower back pain

Opening up hips by stretching deep hip flexors.

Steps for Doing Camel Pose in Yoga
Step 1: Kneeling with legs hip width apart, position both hands on either side of your lower back with fingers pointing downwards.

Step 2: Engage the abdominals and move the hips forward as if pressing against a wall. With neck in its proper alignment, lift chest upwards while maintaining alignment of spine.

Step 3: To elevate the heels, curl the toes beneath and engage your abdominals.

Step 4: Raise your chest while inhaling. Gradually bend back while exhaling, moving your hands down your buttocks and onto your lifted heels as you exhale.

Step 5: Monitor your neck closely. Keeping the chin tucked slightly towards your chest may help with this step.

Step 6: Inhale and exhale while pushing forward with hips, thighs and abdomen.

Step 7: Hold your pose for 5-30 seconds while breathing deeply and steadily.

Step 8: To open up, slowly lift each hand until they have all been lifted off of the mats.

Step 9: Enter Child Pose and relax for five minutes.

Advanced students might attempt this pose with both feet on the ground while holding onto their heels.

Beginners often struggle to reach the feet with their hands without straining their neck or back, so remain at stage 3 until feeling completely at ease if you are just beginning camel pose. Instead of reaching backwards to reach for heels, keep hands pressed against lower back and pelvis instead for an alternative stretch that helps build flexibility and alignment simultaneously.

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