The Benefits of Camel Pose
Camel pose is a yoga pose you will come across in many different types of yoga classes.
It is a very popular pose among teachers and is often included in beginners, intermediate, and advanced classes. It is included so much in classes because there are so many incredible physical and mental camel pose benefits that you can experience.
Ustrasana is the ancient Sanskrit term for this pose which has so many modern-day benefits.
This pose is a heart-opening pose because it helps to bring prana directly to the Heart chakra region of the body. It also works to give our bodies a burst of energy. In fact, back-bending yoga poses such as camel pose are known to give you so much energy that it’s recommended that you do not do the pose before bed.
Are you ready to learn about this popular pose? Read on, fellow yogi!
The Benefits of Camel Pose
- Stretches the hip flexors, pectorals, and quads.
- Stimulates the kidneys and improves their function.
- It improves circulation, helps expand lung capacity, and increases oxygenation of the blood.
- It opens the Heart chakra helping one be more open, kind to oneself, and compassionate.
- Releases energy pockets in the spine and increases spinal flexibility.
- Strengthens the core, legs, and back.
- It helps correct hunched posture as a counterpose to sitting and looking down.
- Helps prepare the body for deeper backbends in yoga.
- It can bring mental clarity and enhance creativity.
- It helps open Throat chakra and can reduce stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Camel Pose
Begin on your knees and place your fist between your knees to space your legs apart. You will aim to keep your hips stacked over your knees throughout the pose and your knees no wider than hip-distance apart.
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Place your palms on your lower back and top of the glutes, so your fingers are pointing down. Lift up and out of your lower back, keeping the lower belly engaged as you begin to lift the upper chest up and back.
Lean the head back but do not strain the neck.
Engage the mula bandha root lock by pulling the navel and pelvic floor up. Engage the inner thighs to keep the legs pulling together. Lift the sternum and breathe deeply in and out of the nose slowly.
If this is easy, try placing your hands on your heels with your fingers wrapping to the insides of your feet. If you experience pain at any point, ease up and find a place that feels like a stretch without pain.
Remain in the position for 30 seconds to a minute and then rest in child’s pose.
Camel Pose Modifications
There are some camel pose variations that can help you focus on alignment and give you alternatives that are a little easier.
- Try pushing the front of your thighs against a wall as you do this to keep from crunching the lower back. This will help ensure your legs are still supporting your torso’s weight instead of putting that weight into the lower back.
- You can place a yoga block between your legs and squeeze it to keep your legs no further than hip-distance apart. This will help build your adductor muscles on the inner thighs.
- You can place blocks outside of your heels to rest your hands on if you can’t comfortably reach your heels. This will help support you so that you can breathe more easily and get the energy this pose can offer you.
You can receive the benefits of camel pose only by going to your personal edge and not trying to go as deep into the pose as someone else.
Remember to Warm Up Before Camel Pose!
Camel pose should be done after you warm up your entire body first. A great way to warm up is by doing sun salutations which are often included at the beginning of a yoga class.
You can also do around six cobra poses to gently warm up the spine and get it ready for a deeper backbend.
One final tip that will help you get the most benefits from camel pose is to really utilize the ujjayi nasal breathing that brings in lots of healing oxygen to your body. Many teachers say that the breath is the most important part of the pose.
Will you try camel pose?
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