Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
Ushtrasana is a Sanskrit word where Ushtra means Camel and Asana mean Pose. Hence, it is also known as Camel Pose as the body shape resembles the body shape of a camel during the final phase of this asana.
Ushtrasana provides deep stretch to the body and it helps to open up the front portion of the body while working on the hip fixtures and pectoral muscles. This asana also helps to tone abdomen, chest, thighs, and limbs. It happens just because, in order to perform this pose, the frontal region, as well as sides of the body, get totally involved.
Although this asana provides slow results but it is observed to work deeply on all essential parts of the body. It can enhance strength and ability of digestive system, endocrine, skeletal, lymphatic, respiratory and circulatory muscles. No matter whether you are suffering from thyroid, asthma, diabetes, parathyroid, bronchitis, and spondylitis; this asana can provide complete relief from all these health issues. This asana is also recommended to people suffering from obesity and overweight issues.
In case if you are in trouble because of bad health of reproductive system and kidneys, this asana can help to provide major growth. This yoga pose is capable enough to heal dyspepsia, constipation, and colitis like issues.
Bend your legs, keep your feet straight and soles facing upwards and sit on your heels, same as sitting in Vajarasana. The weight of your hips should fall on your feet and keep your knees and heels close to each other. Stretch your body (body-part above the knee) in the direction of the ceiling, and place your hands on the ankles. Do not bend your elbows. Take a deep breath, raise your chest and bend your head towards your back. You chin must face the ceiling, and your neck should be firm and steady. Remain in this position for thirty seconds to one minute. Then come back to the original position and relax for about two minutes. Repeat this sequence for three times.
Bend your knees on the floor; keep your heels close together and straight. Now, place your hands a little further than your feet, on the floor. Bend your back, torso and neck towards your back and remain steady. Maintain some gap between the hips and the legs.
Repeat the above process for three times.
Note: Sinhasana is the opposite of Sarvangasana.
Technique 2 is much effortless than Technique 1, because in this technique the hands are placed on the floor, whereas in technique 1 the hands are on the ankles.
Things to know before practicing Ushtrasana:
While performing this asana, if you feel pain in your legs, immediately leave this pose and first take some time to stretch your legs. Massage your calf muscles, knees, and ankles. This soothing action will help you to get rid of the pain. Those who have knee problems or has some injury at knee area in past are not advised to perform Ushtrasana. This asana can be practiced by pregnant ladies as well but they need to follow specific expert guidelines to ensure complete safety. The knees must be kept apart so that it does not cause stress on the abdomen.
As a beginner, you should practice this asana for few seconds only and then the duration must be increased slowly up to 1 minute. This asana is believed to strengthen up back muscles while stretching the entire front of the body including throat, psoas major muscle, groin, quadriceps femoris muscle, ankles, thorax, thighs, and abdomen. Ushtrasana is recommended for all those who are facing problems in the digestive system for a long time. Also, this asana helps to make spine highly flexible to keep you active all the time.
Benefits of Ushtrasana :
Ushtrasana reduces the stiffness of the spinal cord thereby making it flexible. It slows down the process of aging. It fortifies the intestines and the stomach. This asana is beneficial in many issue related to women.
Ushtrasana slims down the neck and gives it a slender-look. It influences the functions of the throat and the wind pipe; also strengthens the thighs, upper-arms and the legs. This asana expands the chest and helps to reduce the excess fat on the stomach. It helps to reduce surplus fat and keeps the body to look lean. With regular practice of this asana, one may never experience pain in the back or the spine. It provides maximum relief in the problems of the throat and other concerns of the breathing process. Ushtrasana is considered to be one of the important asana.