How To Do Ustrasana -Steps, Benefits and Precautions

Meaning of Camel pose

  • Camel pose is also known as Ustrasana.
  • Ustrasana is a Sanskrit word.
  • Ustrasana is pronounced as ‘oosh-TRAHS-anna’.
  • Ustra means ‘camel’ and asana means ‘yoga pose’.
  • The thighs, trunk, and head resemble the camel hence known as the Camel pose.

What is a Camel pose-Ustrasana?

  • Camel pose is one of the important sitting yoga poses.
  • It is called a Camel pose because of its resemblance to a camel.
  • It works well upon nerves, the spine, and muscles of the back, chest, neck, and hips regions.
  • The pose is helpful in the prevention and management of respiratory problems, diabetes, thyroid, etc.
  • Considering the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an important yoga pose to strengthen the respiratory system and enhancing body immunity.
How To Do Ustrasana- Steps, Benefits And Precautions

Camel pose introduction

In the article, it has been systematically described what is Ustrasana; how to do it; what are its benefits and precautions. All these aspects have been elaborated and mentioned after doing depth research on Ustrasana. The easily explained steps, benefits, precautions, images, and easily understand videos of Camel pose-Ustrasana will help you to understand the yoga pose technically right thereby extracting maximum benefits of it.

How to do camel pose-Ustrasana step by step

The simple way of performing the Ustrasana yoga pose is being given below. Its simpler step-by-step technique has been mentioned below.

  • Adjust the knees and feet so that they are separated by the same width as the hips.
  • The feet should rest on the ground.
  • Lean backward slightly.
  • Now, turn to the right side and grasp the right heel with the right hand and the left heel with the left hand.
  • Allow the head to hang backward.
  • Try to relax the whole body, especially the back muscles.
  • Push the body forward.
  • Maintain the pose as long as you can.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply while maintaining the pose.
  • This is the one round.
  • Do 2-3 rounds.

Breathing awareness and duration

Breathing awareness plays an important role while practicing the camel pose. Ustrasana benefits increase manifolds if there is a synchronization of breathing between the body and mind while practicing the yoga pose. One should inhale while bending backward. Do slow inhaling-exhaling during maintaining the pose. Exhale, come to the original position. Initially, it should be maintained for 20-30 seconds. Increase the duration gradually as per one’s comfort and convenience.

Muscular movement

Muscles, which are experiencing movements, are the back, legs, hips, abdomen, chest, thighs, arms, and the muscles of the neck region. The chest muscles are experiencing maximum stretching. The muscles, which are experiencing stretching i.e. Trapezius, Psoas major, Rectus femoris, Vastus lateralis, Hamstrings, Sternocleidomastoid, Deltoid, Pectoralis major, Rectus abdominis, Apex of lung, and Pectoralis minor.

Camel pose in different schools of Yoga

Ustrasana has some variations in steps and technique while performing by renowned yoga experts and teachers. These different techniques by different schools of Yoga while practicing Ustrasana are given below

  • Iyengar yoga: Here the palms are on the sole instead of the heels.
  • Vinyasa Yoga: It is the same as the technique mentioned above.
  • Ashtanga Yoga: It is the same as the technique mentioned above.
  • Baba Ramdev yoga: It is similar to the technique mentioned above.
  • Art of living: It is similar to vinyasa yoga.
  • Power yoga: Main focus is given on stretching and rigorness of the posture.
  • Hot yoga: It is similar to power yoga but more strenuous in nature.
  • Satyananda yoga: Here the entire body is uplifted and the body is rest upon soles and palms.
  • Bikram yoga: It is similar to Iyengar yoga.

10 health benefits of Camel pose-Ustrasana

Some of the important benefits of Ustrasana are given below.

  1. Flat stomach: The pose is good to make a flat stomach. This is also good for weight loss. For burning belly fat, one has to maintain the pose for a certain time and simultaneously experiencing the stretch on the abdominal region.
  2. Respiratory congestion: The practicing of the yoga pose helps to relieve and treat various respiratory-related problems. It helps to open the bronchia and alveoli and also increases their area. The practice of the yoga pose helps to expand your chest and thoracic region thus helps in immunity.
  3. Deeper breathing: Ustrasana helps expand the rib cage and ensures the enlargement of the breathing area.
  4. Thyroid prevention: It helps in the management of the thyroid by massaging the thyroid gland and releasing the thyroxin hormone. While practicing soothing massage need to be experienced by the practitioners.
  5. Spine strengthening: It provides adequate stretching to the entire spinal region and accordingly to the nerves and muscles.
  6. Rounded shoulders: The practice of the yoga pose helps to correct the rounded shoulders.
  7. Chest expansion: For chest expansion, this is one of the best yoga poses to be practiced. By doing this, not only opens the chest in fact removes many respiratory blockages.
  8. Diabetes prevention: It gives adequate stretch to the chest and also massages the pancreas, which in turn stirs to release of insulin hormone. Thus, beneficial for the treatment and management of blood sugar.
  9. Back pain: For patients with back pain and neck pain, it should be practiced under the guidance of a yoga therapist.
  10. Thighs health: It gives a wonderful stretch to the thigh’s muscles and nerves.

Ustrasana precautions

Some of the few contraindications/cautions/limitations of the camel pose are:

  • Severe back pain
  • Lumbago
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Hernia
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abdominal injury
  • Neck injury

Beginner’s tip

Stiff back people should avoid this asana initially. The practice of this yoga pose requires adequate flexibility. Therefore, in the initial stage, one should perform Ardha Ustrasana. After acquiring for few days and gaining certain flexibility and stamina, it is better to go ahead with Ustrasana and Purna Ustrasana. However, do it for 10-15 seconds while performing in the initial stage.

Camel pose- Ustrasana sequence

Preparatory pose

  • Tadasana
  • Stickasana
  • Ardhaustrasana
  • Ardha Chakrasana

Follow-up / counterpose

  • Paschimottasana
  • Pawanmuktasana
  • Janusirsasana

Top 10 facts of camel pose

There are some tips and points, which need to be taken into consideration while performing this yoga pose.

  1. It is one of the important asanas for dropping shoulders and hunched back.
  2. Adjust the knees and feet so that they are separated by the same width as the hips. This ensures firmness and balance.
  3. The weight of the body shouldn’t be on the arms and heels as it reduces the efficacy of the pose.
  4. Back muscles should be as relaxed as possible.
  5. Avoid too deep breathing in the final pose.
  6. The chest should be lifted up.
  7. Hips should be pushed out.
  8. The neck should be relaxed in the final pose.
  9. The tailbone should be slightly forward.
  10. Shoulders should be drawing together.

The science behind camel pose-Ustrasana

The asana requires greater flexibility. Considering the anatomy and physiology of the pose, one can increase its benefits manifolds if it performs technically right.  The muscles, which are prominently involved during the practice of the asana are Psoas major, Rectus femoris, Vastuslateralis, Hamstrings, Trapezius, Sternocleidomastoid, Deltoid, Pectoralis Major, Rectus abdominis, Apex of lung, and Pectoralisminor. The camel pose gives a new life to the breathing system, especially the lung.

Camel pose learning  information video

  • The video of Ustrasana has been made in a very simple and easy way to help to understand the practitioners.
  • It has been developed after the discussion with many yoga experts and teachers.
  • Extensive research has also been carried out while making the video.
  • It is a learning cum informational video, will help you to harness its benefits.

Modification and variations

  • Ardhaustrasana
  • Purnaustrasana

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