There’s an abundance of yoga postures that have major benefits, such as down dog, yoga savasana and cat-cow, just to mention just a few. Another posture to include in your yoga routine? Ustrasana which is sometimes referred to as camel pose. This backbend that opens your heart feels just as delicious as it looks and is particularly delicious when you’ve been in a chair or laptop, according to Sabrina Washington, a CorePower Yoga instructor from Sacramento, California, making it an ideal exercise to transition into when you’re ready to relax for your evening. Learn more about benefits of camel poses along with step-by step instructions on how you can do it, as well as the safety tips to remember.

Ustrasana or camel pose benefits

1. Strengthens and stretch the muscles.

Apart from providing a great stretch Washington states that the camel position will to strengthen your abs, thighs, back, hamstring, and glutes.

2. Corrects shoulders that are rounded

A lot of us spend too much time sitting down things (computer screen, mobile phone or steering wheel, etc.). “Unfortunately our shoulders the upper back, spine, and neck are the ones that suffer,” Washington says. “Camel poses counteract this by opening the chest and moving the spine towards the other direction, to alleviate rounded shoulders, reduce discomfort that has developed in our upper and necks, and to strengthen our spine. ”

3. Aids in relieving back discomfort

As well as reshaping shoulders that are round, this pose helps to prevent back discomfort. “Oftentimes, back pain can be caused by poor posture, which could be caused by weak core muscles or a an overly hunched upper back,” Washington says. “When performed correctly, the camel pose can help strengthen muscles of your back and abdominal muscles, which may assist in preventing any future issues.”

4. It can help ease constipation.

If you’ve been able to go for some days without having to pee then you might want to incorporate this posture into your routine of yoga. “Yoga has been shown to help digestive issues,” Washington says. “Camel posture, in particular is a stretch for your stomach, abdominals and intestines. All of which are vital to proper digestion and relieving constipation.”

5. The chest will be opened

“Camel posture is one that allows your heart chakra for giving and receiving joy, love and kindness,” Washington says, noting that it can aid in breathing because it improves your breathing capacity. In poses that open your heart, such as this, some individuals may feel vulnerable or emotional while or following the pose. Washington recommends being kind to yourself and going in your own way in the event that this occurs.

6. Creates an inner peace

In general, people feel calm, energized and strong after doing Ustrasana. “Some individuals also find the pose to be very relaxing and can help reduce anxiety and stress levels and help to create an inner peace,” Washington says.

How do you do the Ustrasana pose, also known as camel pose?

The trick to the camel pose is not to go overboard by bending the back. “The priority is to discover a backbend you aren’t likely to escape from, and also to find a form in which you can breath in a deep breath for about 30 minutes,” Washington says.

Begin by kneeling in the middle of your mat, by placing your knees underneath your hips. Set both hands over your back with your fingers pointing downwards towards the floor. When you breathe, move your chest to the ceiling, and then follow your heart to form an arc with your back. It is a good idea to see how it feels. It’s possible to hold the pose at least 30-60 minutes. You can also take this posture more intense by focusing on your thighs and glutes (this will protect your back). back) and then bring your hands on your heels. Keep your hips in a straight line over your knees, and keep your chin pointing toward your chest. Keep the pose for 30 to 60 minutes.

To release from the posture, put your hands back onto your hips. Engage your abs as gently raise your chest back to a standing posture. Finally, while placing your hands resting on your legs Take a few minutes to relax your heart and settle yourself down if you find yourself feeling confused.

A tip to follow: “Always listen to your body and ensure that you have the patience to leave the pose safely,” Washington says.

Ustrasana cautions

While camel poses are an ideal move for the majority of users, Washington advises skipping it when you’ve been injured, recovering from surgery, or have suffered from chronic shoulder, knee neck, back discomfort. “This is a more advanced and strenuous position which can trigger preexisting joint or muscle pains in these regions,” she warns. “Be certain to consult your physician if there are any concerns prior to practicing yoga. ”

Washington is also aware that some people suffer headaches when doing backbends. To avoid this occurring, she suggests adding camel poses towards the conclusion of a yoga session rather than in the beginning. “This means that our bodies are warmed up, stretched out, and ready for the beginning,” she says. Do cat-cow exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles in addition to your back first.

Intentionally holding your breath when practicing the pose or wearing a backband could cause headaches. Therefore, “use your breath as an indicator for your posture,” Washington says. “For instance take your breath inhale and generate lift in your chest. Then, utilize your exhale to explore the depth.” The most essential thing to remember when doing Ustrasana is to not push your body. “Find the backbend that you are able to breathe deeply for all of posture. ”

Try your camel posture and other chest opening exercises, in this stretching video of 10 minutes: