Yoga Pose Breakdown: Ustrasana - Camel Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna)
Ustra
 = Camel
Asana = Pose

Get Started:
:: Come to standing on your knees (kneeling) with your knees hip-width distance apart
:: If you don't know what hip-width distance apart is, use two fists in between your thighs to measure
:: Internally rotate your thighs slightly, narrow your hips and firm the buttocks
:: Press your feet and shins into the floor
:: Place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips face up or down (ask your instructor for his/her preference)
:: Squeeze your elbows toward each other
:: Widen your collarbones
:: Begin to trace your gaze on the sky
:: Maintain a long neck
:: Option to place your hands on your heels
:: Fix your gaze and take tiny sips of air
:: To come out, place your hands back on your lower back and slowly rise up

Benefits: Camel pose stretches the entire front of the body, including the ankles, thighs, groins, abdomen, chest, throat, psoas, and back muscles. It improves posture and stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck. 

Contradictions: Be careful practicing this pose if you have high or low blood pressure, or if you have a migraine. If you have insomnia or a severe neck or low back injury, do not practice this pose. 

Know Your Asana: Deep heart openers and backbends have the tendency to bring up all kinds of emotions, so do not be surprised if this is an emotional posture for you.

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