I’d like to take a minute for a time out and get down to one of my favorite poses, if not my favorite: Camel Pose or Utrasana. In this photo I was captured naturally going back into it and it made for a really breathtaking photo, because there’s more than just first glance. If you think about it, seeing this photo you may subconsciously feel warmth, peace, happiness, gratitude, all the things behind the lens and what we really desire. All the things that yoga is meant to bring to our lives. Joy, love, warmth, I hope this photo captured it rather than just a pose. At least for me it did.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of Utrasana, Camel Pose from a beginner standpoint. Camel pose isn’t a pose you want to start your first day. You work into in, and then one day you are there. I cannot stress enough that with poses (or ‘asanas’), you reap benefits no matter where you’re at. You’ll hear me repeat this on other poses because what we do is what our body allows in that moment, and THEN comes full expression. I’m not even in full expression here as I have one arm up as I was going back. Below I will post a photo of full expression.
Camel pose is a huge “heart opener.” Not just literal. It’s also worded as a chest opener – well absolutely! I don’t think I needed words to say that – the picture does that for me. But this pose isn’t just a fun looking pose. The benefits are endless and the reason I absolutely love this pose and do it constantly, for the first years of my practice this was the ONE. Now I have many, but this remains top 3. As I’ve stated I have severe chronic back pain – I have a titanium disc in my neck with full discectomy (which failed), and I have herniations, spondylosthesis, disc degeneration, herniations that are near my spinal cord at every level (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), and I’ll stop with the main guy which is scoliosis, diagnosed at age 5. To this day I wear a device that also pulls my shoulders open similar to this pose. So, if you suffer from back pain, here’s your homework. Start now! Let’s get you into full expression. Even if this is the only pose you’ll ever do and yoga isn’t your thing. Think of it as physical therapy.
Where was I? Okay – so camel is my love and has been for a long time. I remember one class, and they forgot to do camel. That was like 7 years ago. And I still remember it!!!
Camel pose is THE pose if you have back issues, or you have poor posture. This is the opposite of slumping all day so when you get to full expression your body is going to literally adore you and you will feel something I can’t describe (and that’s just the physical aspect).
Not only does this pose open the whole front of the body and strengthens the spine, it actually reaps so many other benefits that would surprise you. To name a few, it stretches:
- Thorax (Space between your neck and abdomen, including rib cavity, breastbone)
- Inguinal Region
I want to stop and mention the importance of the thorax – as stated it is the space between throat and abdomen. One you have a mental picture – let me expand. This included the above areas mentioned, the chest, but it is highly important to know it contains the chief organs of circulation and breath/respiratory. You feel it, but you don’t really think about it until you think about it. Ya know? In all seriousness, it’s great for asthmatics (self), and people with other respiratory disorders such as COPD, and…COVID-19. In fact I take CEU’s at least three times a week, and we do a LOT of Zoom conferencing on post (and pre – let’s get strengthened to better stave it off if God forbid it is contracted), but A LOT of Covid-19 care and recovery.
Regardless, camel pose will have a lot of other posts but since I just took this photo 2 days ago I wanted to post now, even though I haven’t gotten into poses/asanas and benefits, or anatomy and physiology. I hope if you were brought here it is because you need light, you have back pain and need this guidance, or maybe you just needed to start your day with a photo that is more than a physical body and exudes light and love. That’s what I’m about.
Until next time my friends, NAMASTE.