Camel pose (Ustrasana) is an intense backbend that stretches the entire front body and strengthens the back muscles. It’s a challenging posture, but with proper warmup and alignment, it can be beneficial for your practice.
This article will discuss how to do camel pose correctly and safely to get the most out of this asana.
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The Origins of The Camel Pose
The Camel Pose, or Ustrasana in Sanskrit, is commonly used in yoga and has a fascinating history. The pose has been known by many names, including the “Royal Pose” or the “Raja Ustra Asana,” when it was practiced by royalty during ancient times.
There is a well-known Indian fable that tells the origin of this particular posture: It is said that Ganesha, the elephant god of Indian mythology, once asked a camel to bow to him and showed everyone how a beautiful posture is created with that simple gesture.
Over time, it eventually developed into one of the most widely used poses in yoga and was formalized as Ustasana. This pose helps to stretch your chest and effectively inhibits back pain due to its restorative properties.
How Does The Camel Pose Benefit Individuals
For valid reasons, Camel Pose has been a staple of yoga practices for centuries. This stress-relieving posture can benefit individuals in many ways, providing physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
- Physically, the Camel Pose helps increase flexibility in the spine and open up hips and thighs. It also stimulates organs at the level of the pelvis and abdomen.
- Mentally, it calms the mind while helping with relaxation and concentration. Emotionally, this pose is particularly beneficial for easing anxiety and depression – providing feelings of spaciousness that can help to cultivate self-awareness.
This unique posture provides invaluable benefits for those who wish to improve their physical health and well-being.
How to Perform The Camel Pose
- Start kneeling on your mat with your knees hip-width apart to perform this posture.
- Reach your hands toward the sky, then place them onto your lower back with your fingertips pointing downwards to facilitate an arch in the scale from the base of your spine.
- Engage your core and take hold of both heels of each foot as you raise your chest towards the ceiling, allowing for a deep stretch in the entire front line of the body.
- Remember to keep breathing deeply without forcing tension into any areas of discomfort.
- Remain here for 30 seconds to 1 minute before releasing back to the ground with control.
Make sure that after completing this exercise, you perform some stretches or variations to provide balance and stability throughout each side of the body before moving onward into other poses.
Variations of The Camel Pose
The Camel Pose can be modified to accommodate different levels of flexibility and strength. Here are a few variations you can try:
- Wall Camel Pose: place your hands on the wall behind you instead of reaching for your heels. This variation is ideal if you’re new to backbends or tight in the hips, as it takes some pressure off of the spine while still providing many of the same benefits.
- Supported Camel Pose: bring a block into play by placing it between your shoulder blades and using this support to get further into the pose without risking any strain on the lower back muscles.
- One-Legged Camel Pose: lift one leg at a time up toward the sky with each exhale before bringing it back down with each inhale. This variation helps to open up the hips, stretch the legs and glutes, and strengthen the core.
Beginner Mistakes to Avoid When Performing The Camel Pose
The Camel Pose, classified as an intermediate-level yoga pose, has several benefits for those who want to practice regularly. However, it’s important to recognize that a beginner should approach this pose cautiously, as incorrect form and technique can lead to injury. To avoid harm, beginners must remember key points while practicing the Camel Pose.
- First, when performing the posture, it’s best to ensure your knees are properly bent and apply equal pressure on both sides of your body.
- It’s also essential that the knees remain pointed in the same direction as your toes so you don’t strain your lower back by twisting side-to-side.
- Be sure to distribute your weight across both legs and feet evenly —that is, pay attention if one foot has less weight on it!
- Lastly, try to keep your chest high and shoulders away from the ears when performing the pose to ensure proper form and deeper involvement of core muscles.
With these tips in mind, beginners can safely practice the Camel Pose without fear of injuring themselves.
When & How Many Times Should You Perform The Camel Pose?
Practicing the Camel Pose two to three times a week will help improve flexibility, strength, and well-being. For advanced practitioners, you can practice this pose up to five times a week – but always ensure that your body is warm and well-hydrated beforehand. Depending on your level of experience and flexibility, you can hold the posture for 10 to 30 breaths or longer.
No matter how long you hold the pose, it’s important to release out of the posture as slowly and mindfully as you enter it. Take your time to come back into a kneeling position before standing up.
Remember – safety should always be your top priority when practicing yoga. Listen to your body and never force yourself into any posture that doesn’t feel comfortable.
How Many Times a Week Should You Perform The Camel Pose (By Age)
Before starting any physical activity, it’s important to consult a doctor or fitness professional. Depending on your age and fitness level, different recommendations will apply. Generally speaking, adults can practice the Camel Pose two to three times a week – but always ensure you listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond what is comfortable.
- Children aged 12 and under should practice the Camel Pose with caution. It’s best to have a qualified yoga instructor guide them through the pose step-by-step, and parents should always be present.
- For teenagers aged 13 – 17 years old, practicing this posture two to three times per week is recommended. However, just like adults, it’s important to ensure that they are properly warmed up and hydrated before attempting the pose.
- For young adults aged 18 – 25 years old, the Camel Pose can be safely practiced three to four times per week.
- Adults between the ages of 25 and 65 can practice the Camel Pose two to five times per week, depending on their fitness level and experience.
- Finally, seniors aged 65 and up should take a more cautious approach to this pose – it’s best to consult with a doctor or qualified fitness professional before attempting it.
As a general rule of thumb, always listen to your body when practicing any form of physical activity. For example, if any posture feels uncomfortable or causes pain, it’s best to stop and rest.
By following these guidelines and paying attention to your body’s signals
The Camel Pose is an incredible posture that benefits individuals in so many ways – physically, mentally, and emotionally. With a few modifications or variations, this posture can be practiced by anyone who wishes to reap its benefits – from beginners to experts alike.