Riding the Camel

I think a fair amount of yogis have that pose they used to hate, but now lovelovelove. Oooh, do I love Camel (Ustrasana). Just recently, I was led into camel using a wall (at my back), and started a whole new kind of love affair. It's one of those poses that when I come out, I feel just a little bit crazed... but in a good way. I know Halloween is coming up, but I'm a pretty sane yogini.

Along the lines of being a sane yogini, and not a crazy one, a note about when I'm on the road, looking for a new home. I have tended towards being more than a wee bit OCD in the past, and in a brave attempt to not be, I may not post every day when I'm in the Pacific Northwest. I'm working on getting ahead in my posts by getting some extra sequences typed up now, but I'm not making any promises. If anyone can lend a hand, or 10 or 15 of their favorite asanas, lemme know.

Riding the Camel

Camel, or Ustrasana, is an intense chest opener. Come into it slowly, come out of it slowly. Use lots of props if you need them. There are also lots of camel variations, so come into one of those if you know your practice doesn't include full camel. If this pose hurts your neck, try tucking it into your chest instead of letting it drop back. Or, wrap a small blanket around your neck to prop it up. Make it work for you, and deeeeep breathing.

  1. Vajrasana (Diamond Pose)
  2. Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose)
  3. Threading one arm under the other to twist. Repeat other side.
  4. Cat/cow
  5. Pretend your spine is a jumprope and create circles. Circle other direction.
  6. Kneedown Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  7. Taking both hands to the waist, move the weight of your torso slightly backwards and then slightly forwards, knees to head aligned. You should feel this in your core.
  8. One armed Ustrasana (Camel Pose) [one hand to foot, other to sky]
  9. Repeat with other arm back
  10. Flow between steps 8 and 9
  11. Cat/cow
  12. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  13. Uttanasana (Forward Fold Pose)
  14. Tadasana
  15. Upavistha Hastasana (Standing Upward Arms)
  16. Exhale, bending at torso, bring raised arms parallel to the floor
  17. Hold for 3-5 breaths
  18. Exhale to Uttanasana
  19. Inhale, come back halfway arms now at "T" position. Hold for 3-5 breaths
  20. Uttanasana
  21. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  22. Three-legged Dog, drawing circles in the air with the knee
  23. Repeat other leg
  24. Jump or step through to seated
  25. Coming to face the wall, pressing your front thighs into the wall, Ustrasana
  26. Garbasana (Child's Pose)
  27. Cat/cow
  28. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)
  29. Bringing your back to the wall (arm's length away), bring arms up and over head, eventually pressing palms of hands into the wall for Ustrasana variation
  30. Garbasana
  31. Upavista Konasana (Seated Wide Angle)
  32. Supta Konasana (Reclined Angle)
  33. Halasana (Plow Pose)
  34. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand Pose)
  35. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Shoulderstand Pose)
  36. Bring body into a tight back on your back, bringing head towards knees
  37. Release with "Ha" exhale
  38. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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