Yoga is not a religion; it is a way of living that aims towards ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’.
We all know man is a physical, mental and spiritual being; yoga helps promote a balanced development of all the three. Other forms of physical exercises, like aerobics, assure only physical well-being. They have little to do with the development of the spiritual or astral body.
It has endless benefits and different asanas. Today, we’re going to tell you about the Ustrasana.
Ustrasana (camel pose)
Ustra means camel. In this pose, the back is arched. The round shape created in the front side of the body resembles a Camel’s hump. It is a highly recommended pose because it makes our body fit.
Ustrasana comes under Vajrasana group of asanas. Vajra is also the major nadi directly connected with the genitourinary system. The vajrasana series is therefore very beneficial for the reproductive as well as digestive organs.
On a spiritual and emotional level, practicing ustrasana is regarded as an effective way to relax the mind and find calmness and balance. Because the practitioner must lean backward without seeing where they’re going, this asana promotes a deep sense of trust in the self and the body, as well as feelings of inner strength and fortitude. It also opens the anahata (heart) chakra as the chest spreads wide and bears the heart outward.
How to do Ustrasana
– Sit in vajrasana. Stand on the knees with the arms at the sides. Curl your toes under.
– The knees and feet should be together, but may be separated if this is more comfortable.
– Lean backward, slowly reaching for the right heel with right hand and then the left heel with the left hand. Do not strain.
– Push the hips forward, keeping the thighs vertical, and bend the head and spine backward as far as is comfortable.
– Relax the whole body, especially the back muscles, into the stretch.
– The weight of the body should be evenly supported by the legs and arms.
– The arms should anchor the shoulders to maintain the arch of the back.
– Remain in the final position for as long as is comfortable.
– Return to the starting position by slowly releasing the hands from the heels one at a time.
Normal. Do not try to breath deeply because the chest is already stretched.
Practice up to 3 times as a dynamic asana. Hold the final position up to 3 minutes as a static pose.
On the abdomen, throat, spine and natural breathing.
Benefits of Ushtrasana
1.This asana is beneficial for the digestive and reproductive system.
2. It stretches the stomach and intestines, alleviating constipation.
3. The backward bend loosen up the vertebrae and stimulates the spinal nerves, relieving backache, rounded back and dropping shoulders.
4. It helps to improve the good body posture.
5. The front of the neck is fully stretched, toning the organs in this region and regulating the thyroid gland.
6. It is helpful for the people suffering from asthma.
7. Reduces fat on thighs.
8. Helps to heal and balance the chakras.
9. Stimulate endocrine glands.
10. Opens the chest, improving respiration.
Known as a “heart opening” yoga pose, Ustrasana stimulates and balances both the fourth and fifth chakras, located at the heart and throat centers, respectively. In many practitioners, the heart and throat centers are often closed off and protected, as evidenced by slouching, lowered chins, and poor posture. For this reason, practicing Ustrasana can sometimes stir up emotions in the practitioner more than other poses. It is important to keep a calm awareness of your feelings when practicing this pose; fear of your emotions can create stiffness in the body and may lead to injury.
1. Do not practice this asana until the ankles and knees are sufficiently flexible.
2. Not advisable in osteoarthritis.
3. Not advisable in pregnancy when extra weight can overload the knees joints.
4. Should be avoided by people suffering from high blood pressure or stroke, heart disease and neck injury.
If practiced regularly, this asana can help you overcome the extremities that life throws at you, be it physically or mentally, just like the camel survives in extreme conditions in the desert.