Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
ustra = camel
About the pose:
Ustrasana is a kneeling backbend that also lengthens the hip-flexors. The importance of this pose, like with all backbends, is to avoid limiting the bending to the lumbar region (the most easy to extend part of the spine) and instead simultaneously open the chest and shoulders and thus, engaging the mid- and upper back section. To ease into the pose, start by engaging the thighs and lowering the torso without bending; once you have hold of your heels (come onto your toes for starters), push the pelvis gently forward and open the chest and shoulders, being mindful to place emphasis on bending throughout the whole spine. For a detailed 3D image of the pose, go to http://www.bandhayoga.com/flyarounds.html and scroll down to ‘Ustrasana’.
Key muscle groups:
Stretches the whole front of the body (thighs, hip flexors, abdomen, chest and throat). Strengthens the muscles of the back and gluteal region.
– stimulates the abdominal organs
– stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
– strengthens the back muscles and improves posture
Enjoy your practice!