Ustrasana - Camel Pose
InLoveWithYoga2016 Challenge @lorenlotus @kellypenderyoga @altaregoapparel
Marichyasana 1 - Variation included
Balance Alliance Challenge with @Cyogalab
- Start in Dandasana, sitting with your legs straight in front of you. You can fold a blanket underneath your hips, or roll half of the yoga mat to bring your hips a bit higher.
- Bend your right knee, and bring the heel as close to the sitting bone as feels possible. Your right foot is flat on the ground, and the left foot is straight, left knee and toes are pointing up. Press the heel of the left leg onto the floor to activate the back of the leg.
- You can keep a slight internal rotation in the left leg, while the right, bent leg has a slight external rotation. Turn your upper body gently towards the left, so that the right shoulder rotates towards the left leg, and the left shoulder rotates back.
- Inhale, and with an exhalation bring your left arm behind your back, and take a hold of your wrists or fingers behind your back.
- Keeping your back long, and keeping space between your pubic bone and navel, fold more forward. Draw your shoulder blades back towards your hands.
- Stay for 3-6 long breaths.
- To come out, release the hands first, sit up slowly, straighten the leg and take a few breaths before you repeat on the other side.
- If you don’t reach to take a hold of your hands behind your back, you can clasp the fingers together, or use a belt to gain a bit more space. Alternatively, if you have more space, you can clasp your wrists, or try to straighten your elbows a little bit and lower your arms behind you.
- Keep a block or a folded blanket underneath the hips for tight hamstrings.
- This pose should be performed after some preparatory poses including both twists and forward folds.
- Avoid this pose if you have headache or a migraine, if you suffer from injuries of inflammation on the lower back, or if you have irregular blood pressure.
This seemingly simple, yet challenging pose offers many benefits:
- Stretches the hips, hamstrings and shoulders
- Activates the abdominal organs
- Stimulates digestion and metabolism
In this movement, the abdominals have to strongly contract to bring your forehead towards your shins. This creates a powerful flushing and cleansing effect on the abdominal organs, helping to aid digestion and excretion. This strong contraction of the abdominals will also shorten the length of the breath, but the texture can still be smooth and even. Anatomically, the hamstrings of the straight leg are lengthened, creating flexibility, while the quadriceps's are engaged, building strength. The abdominals are strengthened, while the muscles that run the length of the spine are lengthened. Due to the bind of the hands behind the back, the muscles of the shoulders gain flexibility as well strength.
Avoid this pose if you have a shoulder or hamstring injury , if you are pregnant or menstruating, or if you are suffering from diarrhoea
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