Camel Pose - Ustrasana

camel-pose (front) - Iana Varshavska

Contents

Camel Pose or Ustrasana in Sanskrit (“Ustra” means Camel and “Asana” means Pose) is an intermediate-level chest-opening backbend that is energizing and beneficial. This yoga posture adds flexibility and strength to the body and also helps in improving digestion. It is a wonderful addition to your sequence since it prevents slouching and eases lower back stiffness.

Camel Pose stretches the front of the body including the chest, abdomen, and quadriceps. By doing a backbend, you are flexing it in the opposite direction and it may help you develop better posture. It is said to open the heart chakra, which is your energy center for love, caring, and compassion.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start on the knees with the shins on the earth. Feet, ankles, shins, knees, and thighs are hip distance apart. The toes point straight back.
Step 2
Depending on your flexibility you will keep the tops of the feet on the earth or you will tuck all ten toes.
Step 3
Bring your hand to your lower back. Fingers can be facing up towards the sky or down towards the earth, whichever is most comfortable for you.
Step 4
Lengthen the tailbone down to the ground and engage the core gently by drawing the navel in and up towards the spine.
Step 5
Slowly and mindfully begin to bend your torso backwards while you shine the heart towards the sky.
Step 6
Press your hips and upper thighs towards the front of the room. Make sure you are not gripping your glutes.
Step 7
If this is comfortable and you would like to go deeper bring your hands to your heels with your fingers facing back.
Step 8
The gaze can be up to the sky or towards the back of the room just ensure you are not crunching your neck and do what is most comfortable. Some feel keeping the neck straight is the safest route to go.
Step 9
Pay attention to your breath it should be slow and even if you notice it is not back off a bit.
Step 10
After 5 or more breaths put your hands back on your lower back and come back up using your core

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Can help build confidence and empowerment

Improves posture and counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting and doing computer work

May help relieve back pain

Can counteract slouching and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)

Stretches your abdomen, chest, shoulders, front of your hips (hip flexors), and front of your thighs (quadriceps)

Strengthens your back muscles, back of your thighs, and buttocks (glutes)

Contraindications

High or low blood pressure, insomnia, or a migraine.

Low back or neck injury

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props & Tips

You may place a block the long way in between your thighs (also highly recommended for Beginners). Keep squeezing into the block and trying to roll it to the back of the room. This will help to keep your legs engaged which will protect and support your spine.

You can also try this posture against the wall. Face the wall and press your thighs against the wall.

The Best Cork Yoga Blocks: Reviewed and Rated

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Here are our four favorite cork yoga blocks for people who need a little extra support during their yoga routines!

Variations
  • Camel Pose With Strap And Wall
  • Kneeling Pose Hands Chair
  • Half Camel Pose
  • Sage Nahusha Pose
  • Camel Pose Variation Unsupported Arms
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Camel Pose Variation I
  • Child Pose
  • Bow Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Child Pose
  • Wide Child Pose
  • Bridge Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.