Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras and representative Asanas with the fourth of the Yamas – Brahmacharya or Moderation and Ustrasana or Camel Pose.
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
Since we are in the middle of an Asana-focused set of practices for September, we featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ustrasana and Ardha Ustrasana (ARD-huh oos-TRAH-sa-nuh) is my choice to represent Brahmacharya, since this pose requires moderation – you must gently lean back and avoid straining to avoid injury! This is a great pose for monitoring your yoga journey with Asanas, because you will come further and further into backbends as you increase your flexibility. I actually prefer Ardha Ustrasana, or the half version, with a Mudra!
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for September! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. So, for Brahmacharya Day today, I recommend a Hot Yoga class, which will include this pose as part of Sun Salutations.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Flexibility (30 Minute), which includes Ustrasana!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Half Camel and/or Camel Pose for Brahmacharya Day! This is a common peak pose that you should only practice after warming up, in the middle to end of your session. This is an intermediate pose that should always be followed with a counter-pose such as Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) or Balasana (Child’s Pose).
If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Brahmacharya Day – try a digital detox!
Ustrasana – Camel Pose
Start sitting on your feet in a comfortable kneeling position. On an inhale, come up onto your knees, keeping your legs about hip-distance apart and your feet pointing straight. Place your palms on your hips, with your fingers pointing forward and elbows pointing back. Exhale, press your hips forward while you roll your shoulders back and lift your chest, to come into a slight backend with your hands supporting your lower back. As you deepen the backend, you can reach one hand back at a time to hold your heels.
Beginner Yogis may want to come into Ardha Ustrasana – Half Camel Pose as pictured below. Reach only one hand back, and reach the other hand straight up. I like to touch my first finger to my thumb in a Mudra. If you are having problems reaching your heel, you can also come up onto your toes to decrease the distance you must reach!
Finally, to come out of this pose, inhale and put your hands back on your lower back, come back up onto your knees, and then sit back on your heels. Remember to always follow this pose with Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) or Balasana (Child’s Pose)
PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!
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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried both versions of Camel Pose before? Do you prefer a different Mudra with this pose? Always remember, be kind!