Yoga can be practiced at any age. It is suitable for people of all ages and does not require any ‘stunt’ skills. In today’s generation back pain is most common issue. To get rid out of pain back we can practice Ustrasana.
Ustrasana, also known as Camel Pose, is an intermediate-level back bending exercise. Although the pose is not difficult to achieve, there are many nuances in Ustrasana that have to be checked for the execution of the yoga posture. Ustrasana focuses on opening the ‘Anahata or heart chakra.
It is beneficial for those who want to improve their flexibility and strength. Ustrasana is also good for people with weak digestion. It is also known that regular practice of this asana helps in reducing thyroid problems. Let’s discuss about Ustrasana.
Origin and Etymology
Ustrasana is a useful exercise to keep our bodies mentally and physically healthy. This asana is called Ustrasana because in this posture the shape of the body becomes like a camel. “Ustra” is a Sanskrit word and it means “camel”. Ustrasana is called “Camel Pose” in English. There is some difficulty in practicing this asana in the beginning, but after increasing the practice, this asana can be done very easily.
Science behind Ustraaasana
Ustrasana is a beautiful backbend posture that not only touches your various muscles and joints but also opens up your Anahata Chakra. It helps to relieve deep back pain and bring about re-alignment in the vertebral discs. In this asana, the muscles supporting the back contract, which helps them to release tension.
In this particular asana, since you are lifting the front of your body against gravity, it works your abdominal and chest muscles. This is a great asana to tone your core muscles. Apart from the muscles and joints, this asana also focuses on your Anahata Chakra which is located near the heart. This chakra is the fourth confluence point of the energy channels within your body.
Health benefits of Ustrasana
Ustrasana Helps Prevent Constipation:
Regular practice of this asana can improve our digestive health and also helps in preventing various problems related to digestion, such as constipation. . Due to this our body makes stress hormones which help in promoting the function of the digestive system and also help in increasing the blood flow in our body which helps in reducing the risk of constipation. Apart from this, with the regular practice of Ustrasana, the production of digestive juices and enzymes in our stomach helps in the digestion of food.
Ustrasana Improves Cardiovascular System:
Regular practice of Ustrasana improves heart health and also helps in preventing various types of heart diseases like heart attack, high cholesterol, etc as it helps in opening up and improving the chest muscles. It reduces the tension from the blood vessels and also prevents the build-up of fat and cholesterol in our bodies.
Ustrasana Improves Body Posture:
Regular practice of Ustrasana helps in reducing body fat from our body from belly, arms, and butt area thus it helps in maintaining our body posture.
Ustrasana Stimulates the Endocrine System:
Regular practice of this asana creates a stretch in the neck areas, which stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The hormones are produced due to strain on the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Ustrasana helps to strengthen the spine:
It has been proved by various studies that regular practice of this asana makes our spine straight and strong. When we are doing Ustrasana, our spine is slightly backward which helps reduce the hump and regular practice of this asana improves the flexibility and elasticity of the spine
Ustrasana helps in reducing stress:
Practicing Ustrasana regularly is not only good for our physical health but it also helps in mental health benefits. Regular practice of this asana helps in calming the mind and releasing stress as it puts a lot of pressure on our cardiovascular system while doing this asana, which helps in improving the blood circulation in our body which helps in improving our blood circulation. Improves blood circulation in the brain. Our body gets enough blood to carry oxygen and other vital nutrients which helps our brain to function properly and also helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
Ustrasana helps to strengthen the shoulders and arms:
While practicing Ustrasana the weight of your upper body is carried by your forearms and shoulders which puts a lot of pressure on your forearm and shoulder muscles thereby helping to keep your shoulder and arm muscles toned and tight. Regular practice of this asana helps in reducing pain in the shoulders and arms and keeping the bones strong.
Ustrasana Increases Focus:
Regular practice of Ustrasana helps in improving blood circulation in the brain by keeping your head positioned downwards, hence easier blood flow to the brain. This increased blood flow to the brain provides more oxygen and vital nutrients, thus making your brain more focused and functioning properly.
Once the warm-up is done the following steps can be used to successfully enter Ustrasana:
- Start on a yoga mat with your knees (they should be hips wide) and your thighs perpendicular to the floor.
- Now push your buttocks out a little so that it stays slightly.
- You bring your elbows towards each other and open your chest.
- You pull your pubic bone up and push your buttocks forward (pelvis remains neutral)
- The position where you feel the stretch on your thighs should be your starting point.
- You lift your chest and bring your hands (moving them outwards) and hold your ankles.
- You try and squeeze the shoulder blades together so that the chest opens up further.
- You stay in this posture for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
- To come out of the pose, you raise both your arms straight up and return to the starting position.
- You sit in Vajrasana to relax.
Common mistakes while doing Ustrasana-
- It has been observed that often people make the mistake of obliquely oblique instead of keeping the thighs straight. A good way to correct this is to practice the asana against a wall. As you reach back, make sure that your thighs and even your hips are in contact with the wall the entire time.
- Another mistake is when people force their hands to reach over the heels despite their limited flexibility. This can upset your balance. You try a modified version of the exercise where your arms are bent backward.
Preparatory Asanas for Ustrasana
Ustrasana works the entire back, a portion of the legs, hip flexors, and shoulders. Given below are some yogasanas which can help you in doing Ustrasana.
1. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose to work the spine.
2. Dhanurasana focuses entirely on strengthening the back.
3. Salabhasana or Locust Pose to strengthen the spine, legs, arms, and buttocks
5. Hip and Glute Bridge
6. Upward-facing dog to strengthen the vertebral column, arms, and wrists
- People suffering from migraine should not do Ustrasana.
- People with blood pressure ailments are also advised to avoid the mudra.
- Since this asana involves leaning back, it is not recommended for people with injured backs or who often feel neck pain.
Can pregnant women do Ustrasana?
A. Yes. Pregnant women can safely do Ustrasana with little modifications. It is important in pregnancy to shift the focus away from the deep bending of the back towards the opening of your chest. Deep backbends can lead to joint imbalances, which can lead to sciatica (shooting pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down your legs). For this reason, pregnant women are advised to use yoga blocks and only bend until they get a deep stretch in their chest.
Stretches the pelvic area, which relieves menstrual discomfort.
In the end- Ustrasana has many health benefits, some of the health benefits of Ustrasana include stretching the whole body, relieving stress, calming the mind, improving circulation, reducing fat from the thigh area, improving digestion, promoting sexual activity. This asana improves flexibility and longevity of the spine and stimulates the endocrine glands; This asana improves the health of the respiratory system and regular practice of this yoga also helps in weight loss.
Yoga makes us understand the meaning of life’s existence. It is relative in method but absolute in purpose. Yoga has a positive effect on life and has many physical and mental benefits as well.
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