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Izzy’s Yoga Posture for the Month of April – Ustrasana (The Camel)

May 01st, 2018

One of my yoga students suggested this for posture of the month as the perfect antidote to spending time in the garden!  The cam is a backwards bend, which releases tension in the shoulders.

I recommend placing a behind you and holding onto the legs to support you as you increase the bend.



Improves your overall posture
Expands the ribs
Stretches the front of the thighs
Eases tension from the neck and shoulders

How prepare for it


You’ll need a heavy kitchen chair or a wooden framed arm chair so that you can grasp the front legs of it support


How to do it


Place yourself in front of the chair in an upright kneeling position, with your feet and lower legs under the chair – allow some space between your back and the chair
From your upright kneeling position, gently reach back each arm in turn and grasp the front legs of the chair, one in each hand – start by holding high up the chair leg
Breathing gently, lift your chest and roll your shoulders back, feeling your back beginning to arch backwards
Keep your tail tucked in – this action will increase the stretch on the front of your legs and importantly it will protect your lower-back from compression
As you relax, you can move your hands a little further down the legs of the chair, maintaining support for the back
Keep the neck long and avoid dropping the head back as this may strain your neck
After a few breaths, gently use your hands to straighten up
Move away from the chair, sit on your heels and stretch your back forwards in pose of a child
After practising like this your spine will become more supple and you can work on the posture without using the chair.
For this full version you place your hands on the heels of your feet, so be sure that you are comfortable with a fuller extension before you progress to this version

Things to watch


If you have problems with your back, ensure that a backward bend is suitable for your specific problem before you start on this posture
This is a strong backward bend and is not suitable for those with high blood pressure
Be aware of the movement in your spine and proceed carefully
Use your breath to widen and roll back your shoulders and extend your spine
Protect your neck by supporting it from the upper back – don’t allow it to hang back
Return carefully and relax afterwards
More information about the Camel and how to do it:


A short video showing how the chair can be used to help is here:



Izzy Ixer




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