Ustrasana or Camel Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Ustrasana, Camel Pose
Sanskrit
उष्ट्रासन / Uṣṭrāsana
Pronunciation
OO-strah-suh-nuh
Meaning
Uṭra: “camel”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Ustrasana (OO-strah-suh-nuh) tones and gives flexibility and strength to the sacral nerves and all the spinal muscles. It also helps in cases of spinal injury and stiff back. It also gives elasticity and strength to the diaphragm and lungs, improving the functioning of the respiratory system. This pose also stretches and tones the buttocks and the front of the thighs, and relieves drooping shoulders.

The results of a study show that yoga exercises are beneficial for older adults. The findings support previous research which indicates how regular practice can keep your body flexible and improve physical fitness as you age, providing benefits such as better functioning in daily tasks like climbing stairs or reaching items on high shelves!

A Look at Some Studies indicate Regular Yoga Practice Improves Body Flexibility

Muscle Focus

Camel Pose works on several muscles such as

  • Chest muscles (Pectoralis)
  • Hamstrings
  • Calf muscles
  • Core (Abdominal Muscles)
  • Arms (Biceps)
  • Spinal Muscles
  • Glutes

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • It is a heart-opening pose, so especially effective for people having slouching posture.
  • Helps to relieve backaches caused by excessive sitting.
  • Helps to properly align the spine.

Benefits of Ustrasana or Camel Pose

1.  Helps to Properly Align the Spine

The Camel Pose helps to properly align the spine, which can help to improve overall posture.

2.  Improves Flexibility

This pose is known to be one of the best poses for increasing flexibility. It also helps to stretch out the chest, thighs, and abdomen.

3.  It is a Heart-Opening Pose

This pose is known to help open up the heart, which can help to improve overall emotional health.

4.  Helps to Improve the Lungs’ Functioning

The camel pose is a deep backbend that opens up the chest and allows for deeper inhalation. This helps to improve the overall functioning of the lungs, as it increases their capacity to take in more air.

5.  Helps to Reduce Fat

The Camel Pose is known to be one of the best poses for reducing fat from the entire body. It helps to tone and strengthen the muscles, while also helping to improve circulation.

6.  Activates the Hip Muscles

This pose stretches and opens up the hips, while also activating the deep hip flexors. This can help to improve overall flexibility in the hips.

7.  Stretches and Strengthens the Shoulders

This pose requires you to hold your hands on your heels, which helps to stretch and strengthen the shoulder muscles.

8.  Tones Spinal Muscles

This pose helps to tone and strengthen all the spinal muscles, which can help to reduce cases of back pain.

9.  Stretches the Abdominal Region

The Camel Pose is known to be a great way to stretch out the abdominal region. This can help improve digestion and elimination.

Contraindications

Those with high blood pressure and severe fatigue should avoid this pose. If you have any spine-related conditions make sure to maintain the extension throughout the spine rather than bending the spine. Those with neck injuries and pain should look up at the ceiling and should not drop their heads back. Keep a bolster horizontally on the heels if you can’t reach them.

Variations

  • Half Camel Pose
  • Seated Camel Pose (Chair Yoga)

Preparatory Pose

  • (Fish Pose)
  • (Cobra Pose)
  • (Bow Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • You can also place a blanket under your knees for added support.
  • If you have any neck pain, be sure to keep your head in line with your spine and do not tilt it back too far.
  • Remember to keep your hips engaged and your tailbone tucked in throughout the entire pose.
  • If you find it difficult to reach your heels, you can support your back as you lean back.

How to do Ustrasana or Camel Pose

  • Start by kneeling on the mat with your thighs perpendicular to the floor and your shins parallel to each other.
  • Inhale and lift your chest upward, then tilt your head back and look up at the sky.
  • Place your hands on your heels with your fingers pointing toward your toes.
  • Exhale and lean(Bend) backward, holding your palms to the heels to help support your back. Keep your tail bone tucked in, hips engaged.
  • Inhale and slowly lift yourself back up to an upright position.
  • To release the pose, exhale and lower your body back down to a kneeling position.
  • Place your hands on your thighs and relax for a few breaths before repeating.

Mental Benefits of Camel Pose

  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • It helps to calm the mind.
  • A deeper sense of relaxation.

Bottom Line

The Camel Pose is a deep backbend that opens up the chest and allows for deeper inhalation. This helps to improve the overall functioning of the lungs, as it increases their capacity to take in more air. The Camel Pose is also known to be one of the best poses for reducing fat from the entire body. It helps to tone and strengthen the muscles, while also helping to improve circulation. In addition, the Camel Pose helps to properly align the spine, which can help to improve overall posture. Finally, the Camel Pose is a great way to increase flexibility and open up the heart. If you are new to this pose, be sure to start slowly and build up your strength and flexibility over time. With regular practice, you will soon reap the many benefits of Ustrasana or Camel Pose. Namaste!

1 sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339138/
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

4 thoughts on “Ustrasana or Camel Pose

  1. Dear Meera Watts,
    I ask you how to cure the kidneys, urinary tract and chronic prostate inflammation by yoga and pranayama. Also for regeneration of the liver, spleen and abdominal cavity.

    Best regards
    Ján Švarcpacher
    Slovakia.

    1. Yoga may not cure urinary tract infection but it can make you feel comfortable and even strengthen your immunity system, we need to focus on pelvic floor muscle, poses that focus on kidney and abdominal area. Reclining bound angle pose, bow pose, cobra pose, viprita karani i.e legs supported on wall, camel pose, pawanmuktasana. These asanas will help and also the best pranayam is anuloma viloma pranayam i.e alternate nostril breathing.

  2. Start with malasana and graduate to kandasana. It won’t prevent but it will cure or improve your condition. Also depends on whether your ED is a result of other factors like smoking, alcohol, multiple physical relationships, stress etc.

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