AnatomyBack, Chest, Digestive System, Spine
Pose TypeBackbend, Heart Opener
Ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna) ustra = camel
- Stretches the vertebrae
- Massages the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion
- Stretches the neck, chest, abs, hips, and thighs
- Stimulates the spinal nerves
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Improves posture
- Regulates the thyroid
- Serious neck or low back injury
- High or low blood pressure
- Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-distance wide. Untuck your toes and press the tops of your feet into the mat. Place your hands on your lower back.
- Inhale, tuck your tailbone under, and lengthen your spine. Exhale and slowly lean back, rolling your shoulders back and expanding your chest. Bring your hands to the soles of your feet one at a time.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position or allow it to gently drop back. Push your hips forward so they are aligned over your knees and lift your chest toward the sky.
- Stay in the pose for several breaths. Bring your hands to your lower back. Exhale and slowly rise.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Keep the hands on the low back throughout the pose.
- Snake pose (Sarpasana)
- Cow Face pose (Gomukhasana)
- Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
- Point the tailbone toward the floor before leaning back.
- Push the pelvis forward.
- Lift the hip points toward the front ribs.
- Practice the pose with knees and legs together.
- Enter and remain in the pose with the hands in prayer position at the chest.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Pelvis aligned behind the knees
- Compression in the low back