LEARNING MORE ABOUT CAMEL POSE
The Camel pose USTRASANA is pronounced “ooh-STRAHS-uh-nuh“. The name of this pose comes from the Sanskrit word, “ustra” which means “camel“.
It is a beautiful pose of yoga in the form but it also brings a great effect of physical and mental improvement. During the camel pose, the practitioner must be on his knees, advance the chest forward by tilting the upper body back and extending the entire front of the body. The regular practice of Camel pose is a very effective way to promote the health of the spine, while preparing well the practice of deeper backbends later.
Camel pose can be considered a physical challenge, but it is a beneficial and interesting challenge. The practitioner who practices yoga, not only as a camel traveling across the vast Sahara desert, has extraordinary endurance, but he also needs a strong conscience – from the inside! In order to practice the camel pose, this endurance is not just an endurance but also a voluntary commitment of oneself. Moreover, to have a beautiful yoga emotion and a positive experience for the practitioner, the so-called “endurance” must be an intense attraction for a desire for discovery and conquest.
The practice of this pose is not to reach a real destination, but simply a journey that consists of going from one stage to another, which is more difficult and longer. However, once the practitioner exceeds a certain limit of his own, when the feeling of not being stiff and hard to the old limit, it is really a wonderful feeling that the practitioner deserves to enjoy, it’s like when he is stopped in a rare oasis in the vast desert.
Please practice your camel pose regularly to gradually increase your ability to bend your back! To be able to practice correctly, safely, effectively and positively, take the time to think about this pose. Then, carefully review the detailed instructions below, as well as the videos that follow the links at the end of the article. If you practice this way, you will soon be able to practice correctly and safely, not only in this pose, but in many other positions to bend the back, deeper and harder. At the same time, you will quickly gain confidence in yourself with the beautiful emotions of exploration, conquest and pleasure, even for the yoga postures you have found difficult before!
BENEFITS OF THE CAMEL POSE
- The camel pose strengthens and mobilizes all the muscles between the pelvis and the neck. In particular, it helps to stretch the muscle groups in front of the body, such as the neck, chest, stomach, hips, etc.
- Increases the flexibility of the spine, especially the lumbar spine
- Strengthens the back, the abdomen, the hips, the muscles of the front thigh, the feet
- Increases the volume of the chest for the heart and lungs. Improves respiratory and circulatory abilities
- Stimulates the thyroid
- Stimulates the liver, pancreas and kidneys
- Strengthens digestion
- Against hemorrhoids and inflammation of the rectum
- Regulates menstruation, reducing discomfort during menstruation in women
- Improves the overall posture, counterbalancing with the poses to bend forward.
- Reduces excess fat in the abdomen and thighs.
- Increases blood flow to the brain and face, beautifying the skin of the face
- Stimulates and balances the body’s energy centers (chakras), mainly the navel, throat and heart chakras.
Reduces anxiety, fatigue and stress.
The mind depends on the body. The flexibility of the spine will reduce stress in the back, neck and shoulders. Since then, the spirit has been released. The body is open, the mind is open too. In addition, camel posture is also known to help children find peace with the ability to self-balance, control and tame their temper, anger.
Open and inclined to good.
The chakras are stimulated, the heart chakra (anahata) – which would be the energy center of love, concern and compassion. By practicing camel posture, the anahata opens its energy to circulate freely. At that moment, activities, thoughts and feelings begin and return in this place of love.
Excite and express positive emotions
The camel posture brings emotions from the deepest inside. By practicing this posture, the practitioner can easily recognize these emotions, whatever their depth, and act accordingly. Thus, the practitioner can transform the invisible nature of emotions into a tangible mental action through physical movements with specific behaviors
SECURITY AND PREVENTION
- Deep meditation before each yoga session. Meditation improves the concentration of consciousness to improve the effectiveness of physical improvement (movement and metabolism), while avoiding the dispersion of consciousness during exercise, leading to risks and accidents.
- Warm up muscles
- Do not force your body to take the pose before being ready.
- If you are in a position where breathing suddenly becomes short and tense, you must escape from the position and return to relax in the child’s pose for a few minutes before continuing the exercise.
- Always practice your pose with your own limited, without running against anyone.
- Develop your personal boundaries slowly over time.
- If you have medical problems, talk to your doctor before doing yoga.
Do not practice the camel pose if:
- Blood pressure is too high or too low
- Insomnia or migraine
- Injury to the knee, back, shoulder or neck
- Herniated disc
- Recent abdominal surgery
- After the main meal less than 2 hours.
PROPERLY PERFORM THE CAMEL POSE
SOME PRIOR POSES
PRIOR 1: Stretches the anterior muscles of the neck
Start with the Diamond pose, hands resting on each other on the thighs.
Combine the 4-phase breathing in the lower abdomen. In this exercise, we will repeat this technique for 3 breaths of 4 phases:
3 x (Inhale – Compress – Exhale – Squeeze the belly)
Especially during inhalation (phase 1), we relax the muscles of the neck, but from phases 2 to 4 (compression – expiration – squeezing), constantly stretching the anterior muscles of the neck, orienting the chin towards the ceiling.
You can repeat this preposition several times.
PRIOR 2: Hands on the floor back, chest up, relax your head freely
Starting from the diamond pose, lean back and put your hands on the ground, from the second phase (compression in your abdomen), lift your belly, followed by your chest as high as possible, leaving your head relax back. When inhaling the next breath cycle (Phase 1 of the next cycle), hold the posture and relax your body for a moment, then continue to raise your stomach and chest forward and as high as possible.
Repeat this position for 3 breath cycles of 4 phases.
PRIOR 3: Tilt each side
Also starting from the diamond pose, lean back and put one hand on the floor, the other toward the ceiling and eyes followed. Combined with 3 cycles of 4-phase breathing, the principle is the same as above: By inhaling (phase 1), relax the body for a moment. From phases 2-4, proceed simultaneously and continuously:
- The low hand against the ground
- The upper hand stretches as high as possible
- The belly goes up
- Push the hips forward and up
Stretching, thrusting of the hips and belly are also combined with 3 breaths at 4 phases according to the principle above.
PRIOR 4: Hands on hips, chest up
Start on your knees, shins and feet on the ground. The rest of the body is vertical.
Two hands on the hips. Inhale into the lower abdomen (first inhalation), the body is still relaxed.
Beginning with phase 2, compressing the lower abdomen until the end of phase 4, lift the chest continuously forward and as high as possible.
By tilting your neck back, the front neck muscle will be fully stretched.
Push the hips forward according to the level of lifting of the chest. Combine well with 3 cycles of 4 phases always follow the principle above.
PRIOR 5 : Hands put on the raised heels
Also start kneeling as above. Lift your heels, only the knees and toes on the floor.
Tilt your body back using the above method as much as possible. Each hand in turn clings to each heel.
At first, the gravity of the upper body can be focused in both hands. But after the thighs straighten up and the hips pushed forward. Most of the body weight now rests on the thighs and spine rather than on the hands. So, both hands support only the position.
In combination with 3 cycles of breathing in 4 phases correspond to 3 times trying to push the thorax as high as possible. The shoulders are open and facing backwards.
The 4-phase abdominal breath ensures the strength of the entire body in moving states.
After 3 cycles of 4 breathing phases, the hands turn back on the hips to straighten the body and return to the diamond pose.
Rest in diamond pose for several breathing cycles. Then do the same thing but change the order of the arms, opposed to the previous one.
Rest in the child pose during several deep breathing cycles in the lower abdomen.
COMPLETE CAMEL POSE
Do as above. The only difference is that instead of lifting the heels, both feet are lying on the ground. These heels are at the lowest possible level.
In this state, the upper body should be lowered and the chest bent as much as possible so that hands can grasp the heels.
Combined with 3 cycles of 4 phases according to the principle above.
Entering the pose and getting out of the pose are completely identical to above.
Also change the order of the hands by grasping the heels as you enter the pose, as well as the order of the hands against the hips when you escape from the pose.
In order to practice correctly, ensure safety and efficiency during practice and enjoy the benefits that camel pose brings, please practice carefully following instructional videos (you will find its links at the end of this article)!
POSES SHOULD BE PRACTICED BEFORE THE CAMEL POSE
- BOW POSE – Dhanurasana (YogaVB 22)
- LOCUST POSE – Salabhasana (YogaVB 21)
- COBRA POSE – Bhujangasana (YogaVB 20)
- UPWARD FACING DOG – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (YogaVB 19)
- RECLINING HERO POSE – Supta Virasana (YogaVB 9)
- HERO POSE – Virasana (YogaVB 8)
- CHILD’S POSE – BALASANA (YogaVB 7)
- DIAMOND POSE – VAJRÂSANA (YogaVB 5)
VIDEOS NEEDED TO PRACTICE THE CAMEL POSE PROPERLY
VIDEO OF THE BRIEF PRESENTATION
VIDEO OF THE LESSON IN DETAIL
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