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Camel Pose can be a powerful backbend.
Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images
Backbends can be energizing and uplifting and can provide health benefits such as relief from anxiety, improved posture and the stimulation of the abdominal organs. The mechanics of exiting a backbend, such as Camel Pose in yoga can be challenging and require preparation as well as attention to technique and breath.
Lay a yoga mat or towel on the ground. If your knees are sensitive, double the mat or towel to provide extra support. Kneel on the mat with the knees hip distance apart, the tops of the feet flat on the floor behind you and the thighs perpendicular to the mat. Place your hands on your low back, fingertips pointing down and drawing the elbows together behind the back.2.
Begin to lift through the chest, walking your gaze up the ceiling and letting the head lift last. Arch through your back and continue to draw the shoulder blades together. For a deeper backbend, drop your head back and release your hands down to your heels, continuing to broaden through the chest and collarbones.3.
Maintain the pose for 20 to 30 seconds and breathe deeply. To release the backbend, bring your hands to the front of your hipbones and press them down with your palms, toward the ground. Start by lifting through the chest, and then lift through the neck and head to return to center. Sit back on your heels and rest for a moment, breathing deeply.
- Yoga mat or towel
- Soften the neck to avoid straining the throat.
- Avoid compressing the lower back by only moving as far as is comfortable into the backbend.
- Breathe calmly and deeply throughout the practice.
- Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.