Ustrasana - Camel Pose
Getting to the heart of the matter
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Rotate your thighs slightly inward, narrow your hip points, and firm but don’t harden your buttocks. Imagine that you’re drawing your sitting bones up, into your torso. Keep your outer hips as soft as possible. Press your shins and ankles and top of the feet(if you can) firmly into the floor. It is ok if the toes need to be tucked.
Listen to your body
Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, bases of the palms on the tops of the buttocks, fingers pointing down. Use your hands to spread the back pelvis and lengthen it down through your tail bone. Lightly extend the tail forward. Keep pressing your front thighs back, countering the forward action of your tail. Inhale and lift your heart by pressing the shoulder blades against your back ribs.
How do you feel?
Lean back against the firmness of the tail bone and shoulder blades. keep your head up, chin near the sternum, and your hands on the pelvis. If you are new to this pose; while keeping the thighs perpendicular to the floor, tilt the thighs back a little from the perpendicular and minimally twist to one side to get one hand on the same-side foot. Then press your thighs back to perpendicular, turn your torso back to neutral, and touch the second hand to its foot. If you’re not able to touch your feet without compressing your lower back, turn your toes under and elevate your heels.
If you feel comfortable dropping straight back, raise both arms and your head, rotate the shoulders externally and simultaneously touch the hands to the feet
Check in to make sure that your lower front ribs aren’t protruding sharply toward the ceiling, which hardens the belly and compresses the lower back.
Release the front ribs and lift the front of the pelvis up, toward the ribs. Then lift the lower back ribs away from the pelvis to keep the lower spine as long as possible. Press your palms firmly against your soles (or heels), with the bases of the palms on the heels. Turn your arms so the elbow creases face forward, without squeezing the shoulder blades together. Keep your neck in a neutral position, neither flexed nor extended, if it’s available you can drop your head back.
Be careful not to strain your neck.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. To exit, bring your hands one at a time or simultaneously onto the front of your pelvis, at the hip points. Inhale and lift the head and torso up by pushing the hip points down, toward the floor. If your head is back, lead with your heart to come up, and your chin slightly tucked.
Rest in Child’s Pose.