In Sanskrit “Ushtra” means “Camel”,”Asana” means “Pose”. The English name of the asana is “Camel Pose”.
Position : Sitting
Type : Backward bend
Spiritual Awareness : Sahasarar, Anahat, Vishuddhi
Physical Awareness : Throat, thighs, belly, chest, spine, shoulders, neck.
Dosha Suitability : Kapha
Introducery Asanas : Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Salabhasana, Setu Bandha, sputa Virasana
- From Vajrasana come into kneeling position with your knees together and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into floor.
- Inhale and raise your right arm straight up next to your head. Exhale and lean slightly back, engaging your core muscles, reach with your right hand to your right heel; then repeat action with your left side. Press your palms firmly against your soles or heels, with the bases of the palms on the heels and the fingers pointing toward the toes.
- Push the hips forward, keeping the thighs vertical, bend spine backward, and open the chest as much as comfortable. You can keep your neck in a relatively neutral position, neither flexed nor extended, or drop your head back. Be careful not to strain your neck and harden your throat. The weight of your body should be evenly supported by the legs and arms. Eyes are closed, breathing is normal.
- Stay in this anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. To exit, inhale, slowly release the hands from the heels one at a time, slightly lift the head, and then lift your torso by leading with your heart to come up, not by jutting the chin toward the ceiling and leading with your brain. Exhale.
Follow-up Asanas: Dandasana, Dhanurasana, Sarvangasana, Setu Bandha, Sirsasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana, Virasana.
Spotlight Effects: Throat, thighs, belly, chest, spine, shoulders, spine.
- This asana stretches the upper and lower thigh and knees.
- It limbers the entire spine and pelvis. It opens up the chest allowing for deeper.
- Stretches the entire front of the body, ankles, thighs, groins, abdomen, chest, and throat.
- Stretches the deep hip flexors(psoas).
- Strengthens the back muscles.
- Improves posture.
- Stimulates the digestion and reproductive systems.
- Helps in respiratory ailments
- Mild backache
- Reduces anxiety
- Menstrual discomfort
- Regulates thyroid gland
Precautions and Contraindications:
- This posture should not be attempted by people with slipped disc, sciatica, or hernia.
- The right leg should be raised first in order to massage the internal organs in the natural direction of the digestion.
- In order to practice this posture, the hips must be extremely flexible.
Ustrasana can be very difficult pose for the neck, especially if your shoulders are tight. You can use a wall as a prop to protect your neck. Prepare for the pose with your back to the wall, with your toes turned under and your soles as close to the wall as possible. Exhale and lean back, as described in the main description above. Press the crown of your head into the wall and, against this pressure, lift the shoulder blades deeper into your back. Keep your hands on your pelvis or swing them back to press your palms against the wall.