Ustrasana – Camel Pose/Balasana – Childs Pose

Practicing this pose pose will increase flexibility in the spine and shoulders.  It will also nourish and revitalize the spinal nerves with a fresh blood supply, improve posture and stretch the abdomen which will help to reduce fat. It helps to open the throat area and relax the neck which is helpfor for asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory complaints.  It helps to open the chest which will help hunched backs and rounded shoulders.

Start on the floor kneeling.  You may need a towel or pad under your knees.  Knees should be hip distance apart.  Place your hands on your lower back and start to bend backwards while at the same time pushing your hips forward and lengthening the spine.  It is important to keep the spine long while moving into a backbend.  As you move into your backbend, slowly slide your hands down the back of your legs.  You may lift your heels up by placing your toes on the floor.  If it is comfortable, you may plance your hands on your ankles.  Enjoy the pose for about 10 breaths. Be sure your body is warm before attempting this pose.

Once you have completed the backbend, be sure to follow it with a childs pose or a forward fold as shown below.  This will help counter-balance the backbend.