Camel pose is the almighty heart-opener. It’s therapeutic, effective and often times challenging. It also has the ability to soothe and calm the mind. If you’re new to Camel Pose or if it’s an old favorite, approach it with a sense of compassion for yourself. Simply notice, without any judgment or attachment, how you feel before and after going into Camel Pose. There is no right or wrong. You’re exactly where you need to be.
Camel Pose or Ustrasana (oosh-TRASH-ana)
- Come to standing on your knees.
- Bring a block or rolled up towel between your thighs. Or, set your knees hip-width distance apart.
- Release the shoelace side of your feet down and press your shins into your mat.
- Energize your thighs.
- Firm your abdominal wall by kissing your navel to your spine.
- Set your palms onto your lower back with your fingertips rotated downward.
- Draw your elbows toward one another.
- Hug your shoulder blades down your back.
- Inhale, lift your gaze upward.
- Exhale, press your hips forward to bring them in line with your hips.
- Continue to reach up and out of your heart center.
- Soften your jaw.
- If they’re accessible, reach for your heels with your fingertips.
- If your neck will allow, bring your gaze behind you.
- Take small sips of air.
- Hold and breathe for 4-5 rounds of breath.
- Slowly rewind, rest your sits bones on your heels and your hands on your thighs.
- A yoga block or rolled up towel between your thighs will serve to release pressure from your lower back and help you to engage your adductors (inner thigh muscles).
- For individuals with neck injuries, bring your gaze up rather than back behind you.
- Opens chest and shoulders.
- Stretches hip flexors (Iliopsoas).
- Strengthens back.
- Therapeutic for mild backache and menstrual discomfort.
- Therapeutic for anxiety.
- You may or may not feel a wave of emotions wash over you when practicing Camel Pose. Notice how you feel, take it all in, and then let it go.
- Camel Pose is very similar to Wheel Pose in its ability to tap into several chakras (or energetic bodies). The sacral, solar plexus and heart chakras are especially invigorated in Camel Pose.
- The Sacral Chakra or second chakra (Svadhisthana) is associated with our creativity, pleasure, emotion, and sensuality. This chakra is located in the lower abdominal area near the hips. The element of Svadhisthana is water and the color of this chakra is orange. When this chakra is in balance, we are more centered and peaceful. We are enthusiastic about the journey and less attached to the outcome.
- The Solar Plexus or third chakra (Manipura) is associated with our confidence, power, relationship with self and ego. This chakra resides in the abdominal area, obliques and internal organs (pancreas, liver, stomach, spleen). The element of this chakra is fire and the color of this chakra is yellow. When Manipura is in balance, we have a better understanding of self and we are able to separate our higher consciousness from our ego. When practicing asanas, such as Camel Pose, we “cultivate a willingness to gain insight into your understanding of power, individuality, and identification.”
- The Heart Chakra or fourth chakra (Anahata) is associated with compassion, service, unconditional love, connectedness and empathy. The element of Anahata is air and the color of this chakra is green. Anahata is the bridge between our lower three chakras and upper three chakras. It’s where “me” becomes “we”. When Anahata is in balance, our perception of separateness dissolves and we develop a greater understanding of our connection with all living beings.
- Embrace the vulnerability that comes along with Camel Pose. Surrender to the emotions that may arise during this heart-opener. Let go of any judgment or resistance and allow yourself to just be in the present moment.
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 5/16/16
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens class – Coach Karen – Cardio Core
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens class – Coach Joel – Cardio Core
6AM Sunup Morga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle – TRX Cardio Core
8:15AM Sunrise Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle & Coach Kristen TRX Cardio Core
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Joel – Cardio Core
9:30AM Sunshine Lafayette Rose Court PRIVATE Class – Coach Jentry – Cardio Core
11:00AM Cytosport All Levels Cardio Kick – Coach Michelle (private class)
11:30AM Cytosport All Levels Trigger Point Rolling – Coach Michelle (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport Intermediate/Advanced Bodyweight Training – Coach Michelle (private class)
2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Jentry (private class)