Whether you’re new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, in this guide we’ll teach you how to practice the Camel Pose. It’s one of our favorite poses because it stretches your spine and builds strength in your core at the same time!

The “camel pose for beginners” is a yoga pose that can be practiced by anyone. It helps with flexibility and strength in the legs, hips, back, and neck.

How to Practice Camel Pose

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Camel position, or Ustrasana, is a heart-opening and expanding stance that resembles the curvature of a camel’s hump. This position opens up the front body, is a deep backbend, and may be very relaxing when done correctly. Camel stance, on the other hand, might be difficult to master since it opens up the spine in a manner that we are not used to.

Yogi practicing Camel pose

We spend a lot of time slumped over our desks, laptops, or cars, and the camel backbend creates a very deep hole in the body. While in the posture, it’s critical to maintain good alignment and pay attention to your breathing. Camel stance is a fantastic way to open up the body and find space. 

 

Camel Pose’s Advantages 

This incredible heart opener has a plethora of health advantages. Among them are the following: 

  • This exercise stretches and expands your shoulders. 
  • Opens the front of your body as well as your chest. 
  • It helps to strengthen your core and thighs. 
  • Flexibility of the hips and spine is improved. 
  • Hips are opened. 
  • Improves the health and posture of your spine 
  • Helps with digestion and overall body balance. 

 

Preparing for Camel Pose 

Camel stance should only be done after you’ve sufficiently warmed up and expanded your body. Camel is often done at the conclusion of your practice, directly after standing postures and before your restorative sequence. Certain postures might be beneficial to practice before to meeting your Camel.

Yogi warming up for Camel pose

Backbend while standing

Before moving into Camel position, a Standing Backbend may assist to activate your core and lower body while also opening up your chest.

  1. Begin at the top of your mat and spread your feet hip-width apart. Maintain a solid foundation by pressing your feet into the mat.
  2. With your fingers pointing up or down, place your hands at your lower back. Begin to elevate your heart toward the sky by rolling your shoulders up, back, and down.
  3. Simultaneously, gently press your hips forward while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Maintain a solid leg position and, if you’re comfortable, lean back a little more.
  4. Take 3-5 deep breaths and hold them for a few moments. 

Boat Pose

Your core is engaged, your thighs are opened, and your shoulders and chest are kept open in boat posture.

  1. Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor on your mat. Lean back slightly while holding on to the backs of your knees.
  2. Raise your feet off the mat and align your shins with the ground.
  3. Roll your shoulders back and forth, elevate your chest, and activate your core by pointing or flexing your feet.
  4. You may either maintain your hands where they are or straighten your arms and stretch forward with your fingers. Take 5 deep breaths and hold them for 5 seconds. 

Pose of a Dancer

This standing balancing position is actually a backbend, and it’s a fantastic warm-up stance for Camel.

  1. Begin with your feet together at the top of your mat. Raise your right foot off the floor, bend your knee, and bring your heel to your buttocks.
  2. With your right hand, reach back and grip your right ankle from the inside, your thumb on the side of the baby toe. Raise your left arm, keeping your bicep close to your ear and palm forward.
  3. Lift your head and kick your heel away from your body as you inhale. Take your left arm parallel to the floor and reach your fingers forward.
  4. Continue to kick and stretch until you feel a backbend in your spine. Stay for 5 breaths on one side, then switch sides.

 

Camel Pose: How to Do It 

Take your time if this is your first time doing Camel posture. Concentrate on establishing balance in both your breath and your body. 

Yogi practicing Camel pose

To do Camel Pose, follow these steps: 

  1. Begin by standing on your knees in the middle of the mat. 
  2. Take your knees apart to the breadth of your hips. Between your knees, this is about the size of two fists. 
  3. Make sure your toes are pointed straight back and your ankles are parallel to your knees. 
  4. Place your hands on your lower back and use your palms to support it. You can use your fingers to point up or down, depending on how it feels.
  5. Feel your shoulder blades press down your back as you roll your shoulders up, back, and down. 
  6. Begin to elevate your heart toward the sky by gently pushing your hips forward.
  7. Keep your foundation solid and open up your chest as you lead from your heart. 
  8. Relax your head back without entirely lowering it. Your attention might be directed toward the ceiling or the rear wall. 
  9. Keep your hands on your lower back, or reach back to hold your heels if you’re comfortable. 
  10. Keep your thumbs on the outside and fingers on the inside while gripping your heels. Maintain a firm hold while avoiding putting too much weight on your heels. 
  11. Slow your breathing down and take 5 deep breaths. 
  12. To securely exit the pose, support your lower back with your hands. 

 

Misalignments that are common

Backbends might make it difficult to concentrate on your alignment, but it is critical to be safe and steady in the pose. A few frequent misalignments include: 

Yogi practicing Misaligned Camel

  • Too much weight on the heels: If you’re gripping your heels, make sure your grip is firm yet light. You want to feel wide and expansive in your chest, and dumping your weight on your heels might cause the pose to compress, forcing your hips to slide back. 
  • Keep your hips in line with your knees as you move your hips back. This helps to maintain your foundation firm while also allowing you to develop your lower body muscles and open up your front body. In Camel, push your hips forward slightly, but don’t let them go beyond your knees. 
  • Compression of the lower back and shoulders: To prevent compression, keep your hips forward and your shoulders over or behind your heels. Working on obtaining additional length in the lower back may help prevent discomfort and injury. 
  • If you can’t reach your heels, keep your hands at your lower back if you don’t have a back support. Injuries might result from a lack of support, so make sure you’re supporting yourself with your strong core and your hands. Coming out of Camel posture with your back supported is equally vital, since entering and departing the pose improperly may lead to injury. 

 

Camel Pose Modifications 

Camel stance may be tweaked to make it more accessible to your body and breath. Here are a few suggestions:

Yogi practicing Camel modifications

  • Use your hands to hold your lower back until you’re ready to reach back for your heels. To open up your body, try to remain in the stance for 5 deep breaths while using your hands as support. 
  • Shift your gaze: If your neck is bothering you, maintain looking ahead or toward the ceiling while resting your hands on your lower back for support. 
  • Use the wall: Push your thighs and belly button against the wall to practice. 
  • Support your knees: If you have sensitive knees, roll up your mat or place a blanket beneath your knees to form a cushion.

 

Beginner’s Guide 

  • Camel posture may be rather strenuous because to the depth of the backside. Take a deep breath. This level of intensity may lead you to stop breathing or breathe extremely shallowly and quickly. In this posture, you should be able to control your breathing. Slow down your inhales and exhales and focus on finding relief from any discomfort you may be experiencing. 
  • Allow your heart to take the lead in this stance rather than lowering your head back to view the wall behind you. Instead of concentrating on seeing the back wall, imagine your heart moving up toward the ceiling to expand your chest. 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to open your chest and use your rear body to open your front body. To expand your chest and shoulders, use your upper back to support the front body. 

 

Camel Pose Variations 

Once you’ve mastered the Camel stance, try some of these interesting variants! 

Yogi practicing Camel pose variations

  • Half Camel: Support your lower back with one hand while stretching the other arm and reaching your fingers up and back. As you engage your core and maintain your lower body powerful, keep your chest open and your collar wide. 
  • Arm/ Hand Variations: If you know you can maintain your core engaged and your body in good alignment, you may extend both arms up and back, keeping your biceps near to your ears and your chest up, or take your hands to your heart center in a prayer posture. 
  • One-legged: Reach for your heel with one arm raised above. Bend your opposing knee and reach for the top of your foot with the same hand, elbow facing upward. Maintain your backbend by gently pulling your heel near to your sit bones. 

 

Contraindications

Camel should be avoided if you have back, spine, or neck problems. It may be advisable to alter or avoid this position completely, depending on your physique. If you get migraines or vertigo, it’s best to gaze ahead and support your lower back with your hands. If you have high or low blood pressure, exercise with care and ask your yoga instructor for any adaptations or recommendations. 

When practicing Camel posture for the first time, it’s common to feel dizzy, afraid, or worried. But don’t let it deter you from taking a few deep breaths while in this position. Feel free to change things up and add as many props as you like. Enjoy the journey of this exquisite backbend by taking your time to explore the pose. 

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Mariel is a yoga instructor and writer located in New York City. She has been teaching for ten years and has been a lifelong student of the old art.

Watch This Video-

The “modified camel pose” is a yoga posture that is done by sitting on the ground and placing your feet in front of you. It can also be modified to include different variations like kneeling or standing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve my camel pose?

A: While your camel pose may be good for now, you can improve it by practicing on a more challenging surface. For example, try to do the same with your hands in different poses and see what feels most natural. You should also check out other peoples videos of camel poses online if they have them so that you get an idea of how they are done while still being inspired by their style too.

Why do I struggle with camel pose?

A: You find it difficult because youre not doing it correctly. Camel pose is a complex exercise that will require plenty of practice in order to gain proficiency.

  • alternative to camel pose
  • camel pose sanskrit
  • camel pose benefits
  • ustrasana preparatory poses
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