by Isis du Jour January 04, 2017


Ustrasana / Camel Pose: step-by-step

It's one of those practices where there is no such thing as the middle of the road; you either hate backbends or you love it.
One of the important asanas to practice when focusing on backbends is Ustrasana, the camel-pose. This pose can be quiet intense for some of you or feel as a great way to surrender completely and open the heart, for others. 
But no doubts that this pose has lots of benefits for everyone.

  • Great stretch for the entire front of the body 
  • Helps to improve posture
  • Strengthens the back muscles
  • Trains abdomen, thighs, groins
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen
  • Stretches the psoas muscle (deep hip flexor)
Here a step-by-step guide to help you in this asana:

Part 1
1) Kneel on the floor and place your knees hip width apart.
2) Activate your thighs by rotating them inward slightly and activate your buttocks.
3) Press your shins and the top of your feet into the floor to activate your legs.
4) Place your hands on your lower back with fingers pointing downwards.
5) Roll the shoulder blades together.
6) On the inhale start lifting your chest up and when this feels okay for you, start lifting your chin as well and let your head drop back gently.
7) Lean back while pushing your hands towards your lower back.
If you have experience any neck problems or too much compression, stay in this first part of the pose and maybe not even lift your chin.

Part 2
8) If you feel comfortable enough here and you want to deepen the pose a bit more, you could drop your hands down and reach for your ankles.
9) If you can get hold of your ankles, please use that tight grip to start lifting the front of your body up and pushing your thighs more forward again.
10) You can stay for a few breaths in the pose or for bit longer if it feels okay for you.
11) To release the pose: slowly let go the grip of the ankles, place your hands back at your lower back and slowly push yourself back to a neutral position for your back, followed by your head. 
12) Come seated onto your knees, rest your hands on your knees and close your eyes.
Take a few breaths to feel the difference in your body and to let the blood flow circulate.
You can either repeat this pose for 1 or 2 times and/or finish your practice with a child's pose, to neutralise the spine.

Note: A good way to create a bit more strength in the upper thighs and to become aware of using those muscles in the backbend, would be to use a block.
You can place the block between the legs and actively start pushing your legs together to keep the block on its place.
From there you can slowly start making your way to full pose, following the steps as described above.
Practice the pose once more without the block, to feel and experience the difference. But still try to keep your legs engaged. 

Mini back bending yoga pose

Isis du Jour
Isis du Jour


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.