March 2009 Posture Video: Camel

November 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

March’s posture of the month is Camel, also known as Ustrasana
(oosh-TRAHS-anna)

Interesting fact: ustra = camel

*Benefits of this posture include:

  • Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, and throat
  • Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Improves posture
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck
  • *Benefits courtesy of Camel Pose on Yoga Journal

    Now, I personally love camel pose. It has never been a challenge for me to bend backwards and touch my toes (not in some freaky waiting at the photocopier in the office way, but definitely while on the yoga mat in class). I love giving in to this posture and allowing myself to feel open and free while getting a great stretch and opening my lungs, however I have also had my fair share of feeling dizzy, nautious and overwhelmed in this pose.

    While reading more about camel pose, I came to realize that this is one of the postures that can most often be dreaded by beginners. Literally bending backwards into the unknown, opening one’s heart when we generally are quite protective and guarded of our heart and our emotions can bring about a lot of fear and anxiety for new yogis. Camel is known for releasing strong emotions and can sometimes leave yogis angry or in tears.

    By taking a leap of faith (literally backwards), trusting your body and yourself, and opening yourself up to giving and receiving love, I hope that you will come to realize all of the amazing benefits of this pose and all that it has to offer. Just like life’s challenges, yoga poses that seem challenging or unattainable at first only make us stronger.

    Beginners are encouraged to curl your toes under and come to the balls of your feet to make your heels more accessible.

    One needs to be cautioned that this pose should be practiced later in your routine after most of the muscles are warmed up, limber and you have worked on the back and shoulders.

    Yoga Pose Tip: Singing always helps! Why not sing “Alice the camel has 4 humps” song when in this pose…in your head of course as not to disturb fellow yogi’s in practice!

    Video courtesy of Moksha Yoga

    Happy yoga-ing!

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    Entry filed under: Moksha Yoga, Posture Tip of the Month, Videos. Tags: , , , , , .

    February 2009 Posture Video: Warrior II Giada Loves Yoga!

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