[oosh-TRAHS-anna] aka camel pose
ushtra = camel
Practice USTRASANA when you need to boost your mood & increase energy. This pose is a backbend and chest opener which helps to counteract the slummed posture often found in depression.
BENEFITS: lengthens quadricep & hamstring muscles * strengthens back muscles * opens shoulders & chest * increases lung capacity * stimulates thymus gland
MUSCLES: anterior neck muscles * deltoids * pectoralis major & minor * rectus abdominis * psoas major * quadraceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis) * hamstrings
COUNTER POSES: forward folds * twists * balasana * supta baddha konasana
- Limited spinal flexibility? Weak abdominal muscles?
- Place your palms on the sacrum to provide support for the back instead of reaching for the feet.
- Keep legs engaged.
- Lift & open your chest on each inhalation to create space between your vertebra
- Engage your abdominal muscles as you exhale to build muscular support for the spinal extension
- Experiencing lower back tension? Vertebral compression?
- Curl your toes under to elevate the heels or use a block to reduce the degree of spinal extension.
- Avoid squeezing your glutes or shoulders together.
- Experiencing difficulty stacking hips over knees?
- Use a wall as a guide as you press your pelvis forward.
- Do not allow knees to spread wider than the hips
- Experiencing shallow breath?
- Tuck your chin to your chest to allow the airways to fully open.