Pose of the Week: Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
We have a bright new week ahead of us, yogis, and with it we have one of my personal favorite poses, Camel Pose! This is a great foundational backbend, and when done properly can ease pain in the spine and back muscles, create expansion in the chest, and correct poor posture. I love practicing this pose after holding and/or nursing my baby for long periods of time. If you sit at a desk all day for work, this is definitely a great pose for you to drop into a couple times throughout the day.
1. Come to your shins, knees hip-width distance. Roll the thighs inward slightly.
2. Lift in and up through the pelvic floor and lower abdominals, activating your bandhas.
3. Tilt the pubic bone forward (anterior tilt) so the tailbone lifts up behind you. This protects your lumbar spine from pinching.
4. Create space in the spine by lifting the ribs up up up out of the hips and slightly forward. Now we're really beginning to arch the spine. Keep this arch as you push the hips forward and expand through the chest. Keep pulling the ribs/chest up toward the sky as you arch backward.
5. Place your hands on your heels, fingers point same way as the toes.
6. Drop your head back and pull the shoulders out of the ears, rotating them inward slightly to create more space for the head to fall back.
As you breathe in the pose, stay strong and active in the back muscles. So push the chest up, push the ribs away, push the hips forward! Act against gravity! We want a nice even arch in the entire spine and a nice deep stretch in the whole front body.
You can also watch my short demonstration of Ustrasana below.
Let me know if you have questions or concerns, always. I am here and happy to help <3
For love, with love.
(Yoga Tutorial Video by Sean Shelton @capturedconnections, Yoga Photography taken in UCLA 2016, photographer name unknown)