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strike a pose yoga

ustrasana

[oosh-TRAHS-anna] 

camel pose

Practice ustrasana (camel pose) to boost mood & increase energy. Ustrasana is a backbend and chest opener which helps to counteract the slummed posture often found in depression. 

BENEFITS

  • improves mood
  • increases lung capacity
  • lengthens quadricep & hamstring muscles
  • opens shoulders & chest
  • stimulates thymus gland
  • strengthens back muscles   

MUSCLES

  • anterior neck muscles
  • deltoids
  • hamstrings
  • pectoralis major & minor
  • psoas major
  • quadraceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis)
  • rectus abdominis

PREP POSES

COUNTER POSES 

  • forward folds
  • twists
  • balasana
  • supta baddha konasana

MODIFICATIONS

Limited spinal flexibility? Weak abdominal muscles?
  • Place palms on the sacrum to provide support for the back instead of reaching for the feet
  • Keep legs engaged
  • Inhale. Lift & open chest to create space between vertebra
  • Exhale. Engage abdominal muscles to build muscular support for the spinal extension
Tension in lower back? Vertebral compression?
  • Curl toes under to elevate the heels or use a block to reduce the degree of spinal extension.
  • Avoid squeezing glutes or shoulders together.
Trouble stacking hips over knees?
  • Use a wall as a guide as you press pelvis forward
  • Do not allow knees to spread wider than the hips
Experiencing shallow breath?

Lower chin toward chest to allow the airways to fully open.


PRACTICE CHILLASANA

VIDEO LINK: Stay tuned..coming soon to YouTube. 

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RESOURCES

Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual ~David Swenson

Yoga Anatomy ~Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews

Yoga for Depression ~Amy Weintraub

Yoga Sequencing ~Mark Stephens

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