CAMEL POSE (Ushtrasana)

   

Contra-indications: Low back, knee, or neck injury; insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke

How to perform: Slowly kneel onto the floor and rest buttocks on the soles of the feet. Place hands on the ground 20-30 cm behind and to the side of the feet, with fingertips pointing backward. On an inhalation, lift the chest fully and, leaning the head back, look upwards. Maintain the lift of your chest for 6 breaths. Then, as you inhale, lift the pelvis up and forward, as far as comfortable. Draw the buttocks energetically towards the back of the thighs to lengthen the back. Stay in the pose for another 6 breaths. With an exhalation, return to the starting position.

Do not strain the lower back - draw the pubic bone toward the navel by tightening the buttocks and/or lower hips slightly downwards.

Do lift the chest and hips equally to avoid overworking one part of your body and under working another. Lengthen the cervical spine and soften the eyes, forehead and jaw.

What if... sitting on my shins is not possible? The same back bend can be performed with legs stretched in front or comfortably crossed.

Benefits: Stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs and groins.
 
Improves posture opening the shoulders and chest.  Opens the throat and muscles of respiration for fuller breathing. Stimulates the heart and organs of the abdomen. Activates the thymus gland and boosts immune system.

  
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