The camel pose benefits the spine and the front of the body by providing an intense stretch. Camel pose helps to relieve backache, helps strengthen the lower back, helps correct rounded shoulders, and stimulates the thyroid gland and kidneys. The camel pose is not to be practiced if high blood pressure, a herniated disk, or other lower back problems are present.
Health Benefits of Camel Pose:
The Ustrasana or camel pose is one of the most popular backbend yoga poses because of the amazing health benefits.
- Strengthens the gluteal, arm and back muscles
- Stretches the back and shoulders
- Stretches the abdomen, chest and neck
- Stretches the groin, thighs, hip flexors and ankles
- Opens the chest and lungs
- Helps to relieve lower back pain
- Opens up the hips, stretching deep hip flexors
- Stimulates the endocrine
How to do camel pose in yoga
- Step 1: Kneeling with the legs hip width apart, position the hands on each side of the lower back with the fingers pointing downwards.
- Step 2: Engage the abdominals and move the hips forward as if they were pressing against a wall. Keeping the neck in line with the spine, lift the chest upwards.
- Step 3: To lift the heels, curl the toes underneath. Engage the abdominals.
- Step 4: Lift the chest while inhaling. Slowly bend the body back while exhaling, sliding the hands down the buttocks and the back of the legs and onto the lifted heels.
- Step 5: Carry on monitoring the neck. You might want to keep the chin tucked a little bit towards the chest.
- Step 6: Inhale and exhale while continuing to push the fronts of the hips, thighs and abdomen forward.
- Step 7: Keep the pose for 5 – 30 seconds while breathing.
- Step 8: Release by lifting one hand at a time.
- Step 9: Rest in Child pose.
More advanced students might want to do the pose with the tops of the feet on the ground while holding the heels.
Camel pose for beginners
Beginners are often unable to reach the feet with the hands without straining the neck or back. Remain at stage 3 of the pose until feeling comfortable if you are a beginner. Instead of reaching back to the heels, keep the hands on the lower back and pelvis for a less intense stretch while working on flexibility and alignment.