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Featured Pose: Ustrasana or Camel Pose

Posted on 12/20/2016 by YogaDownload .com in Self-Love Heart Opening Backbends Featured Pose Healing Energy Anahata Chakra Energetic Heart Camel Pose Sanity Sanctuary

Tune into your heart and find joy in settling into Camel pose. Camel is a deep heart-opening posture that strengthens your back while freeing your neck, chest, lungs, abdominals, and thighs. Explore how good it feels to open up through the heart by breathing into the space surrounding it. Because Camel pose directly links to the Anahata, or heart chakra, practicing it allows us to tap into our energy center to foster more genuine self-love, trust, compassion and forgiveness.

In the physical aspect of Camel pose, it can be daunting to reach the hands back to catch the backs of our feet. This requires trust in ourselves to have the strength to stay lifted. In this way, Camel pose teaches us to truly feel empowerment through setting a strong and steady foundation. 

It’s normal to feel intense emotions while in, exiting out of, or post Camel pose. A lot of this has to do with the stirring of stagnant energies that have built up from heartache, and our natural response to guard ourselves from getting hurt again. By breathing deeply in these sensations and embracing whatever it is that shows up in the body or mind, we can process and then release what doesn’t serve us. In turn, we feel liberated, nourished and more balanced. 

- Come to a kneeling position and place your knees and feet hip-width distance apart. Bring your thighs perpendicular to the floor to begin. Press the tops of your feet, toes, and shins into the floor. Keep your pelvis neutral and your pelvic floor muscles engaged.
- As you inhale, lift and expand your chest and reach back to take hold of your heals (one hand at a time) without compressing your lower back. Keep your shoulder blades firm against your back. If you are not able to reach your heals, you can curl your toes under to bring them closer, or keep your hands on your lower back until you gain more flexibility.
- Either your head and neck neutral and look up toward the ceiling, or drop your head back if it is comfortable for you. Be mindful not to strain or compress your neck.
- Keep your glutes firm but not overly contracted.
- Hold for 30 seconds while breathing as deeply as you can. Release slowly onto your knees and rest for several breaths.

There is so much reward to opening your mind, body and heart. Try Camel pose to relish in the benefits of healing and renewal. Remain steady in your breath and learn how to stay within the most precious moment— the present one.

To keep your mind free and your heart open, visit the Sanity Sanctuary.