Yoga with Paulina: Ustrasana Camel Pose

Pose of the Month: Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Navigating life’s ups and downs, it’s crucial to embrace stillness and self-reflection. Especially in February, cold winter month when you start having small glimpses of upcoming spring following by snow storms next day. Therefore, this month we explore the warming practice of Ustrasana (Camel Pose), a heart-opening asana embodying vulnerability and strength. In this article, I uncover its performance, benefits, precautions, and its special relevance during chilly winter months.

HOW TO PERFORM USTRASANA

Camel Pose, is a deep backbending exercise that targets the spine, chest, and hip flexors. To perform this pose, please follow the step below:

  1. First, start by kneeling on the mat with your knees hip-width apart. You can pad a blanket underneath for more comfort and protection.
  2. Secondly, tuck your toes under and ensure your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your pelvis aligned with the knees.
  3. Next, place your hands on your lower back, fingers pointing downward, elbows close to each other and gently push your hips forward.
  4. Inhale deeply, lift your chest towards the ceiling, and arch your back gently avoid any pain in your lumbar spine. Keep your lumbar spine elongated, tailbone pointing down.
  5. Reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your heels, keeping your neck in a neutral position. If that is too hard keep your hands on your sacrum or on the tights right under the hips.
  6. Hold the pose for few breaths up to a minute, breathing deeply and without any strain.
  7. To release, bring your hands back to your lower back, engage your core, and slowly return to an upright kneeling position. Well done! You’ve just performed your Ustrasdana – Camel Pose!

BENEFITS OF USTRASANA:

Ustrasana offers a huge range of both physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Check few of them below:

  • Heart Opener: Ustrasana stretches and opens the chest, promoting better posture and relieving tension in the upper back.
  • Stimulates Digestive Organs: The backward bend compresses the digestive organs, improving digestion and alleviating constipation.
  • Improves Spinal Flexibility: Regular practice of Camel Pose enhances the flexibility of the spine, reducing stiffness and promoting a healthy range of motion.
  • Strengthens Shoulders and Core: The pose engages the muscles in the shoulders, back, and core, contributing to overall strength and stability.
  • Balances Heart and Throat Chakras:┬áThis backbend pose releases stuck energy in your heart and throat, making it easier to express your feelings and emotions.
  • Focuses the Mind: Most of spinal extension exercises need a lot of focus to keep body aligned. In other words, it helps to focus the mind on one thing at the time allowing more presence in life.

CONTRADICTIONS AND PRECAUSIONS:

While the Camel Pose offers numerous benefits. Hovewer, it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with the following conditions should exercise caution or avoid the pose altogether:

  • Back or Neck Injuries: Those with recent or chronic back or neck injuries should refrain from practicing Camel Pose, as it can exacerbate existing issues.
  • High or Low Blood Pressure: Ustrasana can temporarily increase blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension or hypotension should approach the pose with caution or avoid it altogether.
  • Migraines: The deep backbend may trigger migraines in some individuals, making it advisable for those prone to migraines to skip this pose.
  • Lack Core Strength: Individuals with weak belly and lumbar spine muscles should perform this asana with cautions. Otherwise, it might overextend the lumbar spine issues.

WINTER WELLNESS OF THE CAMEL POSE:

As winter wraps us in its cool embrace, Ustrasana becomes a beacon of warmth and vitality. This heart-opening pose generates internal heat, making it particularly beneficial during colder months. Moreover, by stretching and expanding the chest, Ustrasana stimulates blood flow and energizes the body, promoting a sense of warmth and well-being.

Furthermore, the emotional aspect of Camel Pose can be transformative during winter, a season often associated with introspection and hibernation. By opening the heart center, Ustrasana invites practitioners to embrace vulnerability, release emotional tension, and cultivate a sense of inner warmth and compassion.

SUMMARY:

Above all, Ustrasana or Camel Pose, cultivates heart-opening wisdom in the vast landscape of yoga. As you explore this empowering pose, remember to approach it with mindfulness. Always listen to your body’s signals and respect its limitations. Embrace the warmth and vitality Ustrasana offers, allowing it to guide you through the colder seasons with a heart wide open to self-discovery and well-being.

If you want to practice more Ustrasana on the everyday basis try my Wake-Up Yoga training from the 14th of February: Release your Neck and Throat practice. Moreover you can always check my schedule for find a class in Montreal that fits your needs and releases all stresses after a hectic day. Namaste.

#yoga #yogawithpaulina #ustrasana #camelpose