Cam

(ustrasana)

Camel Pose is an advanced back bend that helps to open your chest and the front of your body. This pose also strengthens your back and spine, while providing an intense stretch to the front of your thighs.

As you stretch backward into the pose, try to keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor. Also, be careful not to drop your head back because this can compress the back of your neck. Your neck should stay in line with the curve of your spine. If you feel any strain in your neck, you can tuck your chin toward your chest as you hold the pose. When coming out of the pose, you should relax your neck and lift your upper body before you return your head to an upright position.

If kneeling on the floor is uncomfortable for you, you can place a blanket under your knees and feet. You should use caution when performing Camel Pose if you have a hernia or problems with your neck, shoulders, back or knees.

Kneel on the floor with your knees and feet hip width apart and your toes curled under.

Place your hands on your lower back, with your fingers pointing down.

Inhale as you lift your ribcage and lengthen through your spine.

Lift your heart toward the ceiling and then bend your upper body backward.

Kneel on the floor with your knees and feet hip width apart and your toes curled under.

Place your hands on your lower back, with your fingers pointing down.

Press your thighs and the front of your pelvis forward, while you tuck your tailbone down and under.

Inhale as you lift your ribcage and lengthen through your spine.

Press your shoulders back and allow your upper arms to follow.

Lift your heart toward the ceiling and then bend your upper body backward.

• You should try to bend from as high in your back as possible.

What can I do if I cannot reach my feet in this pose?

You can position blocks vertically on either side of your feet and rest your hands on the blocks.

How can I deepen Camel Pose?

Rest the top of your feet on the floor and point your toes behind you, instead of curling your toes under. You will need to stretch further down to reach your heels in this modification, so be careful not to compress your lower back.

How can I open my chest and the front of my body more in this pose?

Perform the pose as described in the steps below, except reach only one hand back to your foot and then stretch your other hand above your head so your upper arm is beside your ear. Make sure you keep your thighs as perpendicular to the floor as possible. Repeat this modification for your other side.

Keep your head upright and look straight ahead to keep your neck long.

Reach your right hand back to your right foot and place your palm on your heel or ankle.

Reach your left hand back to your left foot and place your palm on your heel or ankle.

Try to keep your thighs as perpendicular to the floor as possible.

Lengthen the back of your neck and then tilt your head to look up at the ceiling. Make sure you keep your neck long.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

To come out of the pose, inhale as you lift your upper body and return to a kneeling position.

• After performing Camel Pose, you should perform a forward bend, such as Child's Pose, to release your spine.

Chapter 12

You can perform the poses in this chapter to achieve excellent health benefits. Inversions improve your blood circulation, quiet your mind and improve your overall health. Inversions are also believed to reduce the effects of age and gravity on your body. The inversions covered in this chapter are all beginner-level poses, although they can still be challenging. As a result, you need to focus on aligning your body correctly when performing the poses.

nversions

In this Chapter...

Legs Up the Wall Pose Half Shoulderstand Shoulderstand Plow Pose

legs up peeS

koroni)

Legs Up the Wall Pose is a restorative pose that helps reduce tension in your head, neck and shoulders and improves your circulation. This pose can also help reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, help relieve insomnia and relieve tiredness in your legs and feet.

It is important to correctly align your spine in Legs Up the Wall Pose. To ensure your spine is straight, keep your head in line with your spine and your shoulders in line with your hips.

If your legs feel tight in this pose, try sitting farther away from the wall. If you are more flexible, you can sit closer to the wall. Once you find the distance that is most comfortable for you, make sure your legs and upper body feel fully supported by the wall and floor.

Avoid this pose if you have neck or back problems, low blood pressure or if you are menstruating. Also, use caution performing this pose if you have eye problems, such as glaucoma.

Position a folded blanket approximately 3 inches away from a wall.

Sit on the blanket beside the wall, with your legs extended and your left side facing the wall.

Lower your upper body to the floor as you swing your legs up onto the wall.

Make sure your legs are straight but your knees are not locked. Your feet should be hip width apart.

Position a folded blanket approximately 3 inches away from a wall.

Sit on the blanket beside the wall, with your legs extended and your left side facing the wall.

Lower your upper body to the floor as you swing your legs up onto the wall.

Your hips should be comfortably resting on the blanket. Your shoulders should be resting on the floor.

Make sure your legs are straight but your knees are not locked. Your feet should be hip width apart.

Can I stretch my inner thighs while performing Legs Up the Wall Pose?

Yes. You can modify the pose to provide a stretch to your inner thighs. Perform the pose as described below, except separate your legs until they form a V shape on the wall.

I adjusted my distance from the wall, but my legs still feel tight. What should I do?

To reduce the tightness in your legs, you can modify the pose by bending your knees and placing your feet flat on the wall. This modification is also useful if your head, neck or back feels strained.

How can I modify the pose to help open my hips and groin?

You can change the position of your feet to perform a supported Bound Angle Pose. When your legs are up on the wall, bend your legs and place the soles of your feet together. Then slide your heels down the wall toward the floor. Only bring your heels down as far as is comfortable for you. For more information on Bound Angle Pose, see page 76.

Place your arms on the floor a comfortable distance away from your body, with your palms facing up.

Your shoulders and arms should be relaxed.

Exhale as you relax your head, neck and spine toward the floor.

Hold the pose for 5 to 15 minutes.

To come out of the pose, bend your knees and place your feet on the wall. Then roll onto your right side. Lie on your right side until you are ready to return to a seated position.

shoulderstand

Half Shoulderstand provides an intense stretch to your neck and shoulders. This pose is beneficial for strengthening your entire body and improving your circulation. You can also perform Half Shoulderstand to calm and rejuvenate your mind. The calmness this pose encourages can relieve insomnia, depression and mental exhaustion.

If you have trouble moving into Half Shoulderstand, you can perform Spinal Rocking to move into the pose. Once you move into the pose, try to position your body so it does not require a lot of effort to balance your legs directly above your head.

Sleeping Solace

Sleeping Solace

How To Better Your Sleep For A Better Life. Understanding the importance of good sleeping habits is very beneficial to the overall health of an individual in both mental and physical levels. Learn all the tricks here.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment