The pose: Ustrasana in sanskrit, otherwise known as the camel pose
How to do it: kneel on the floor with your legs hip distance apart. Toes tucked or flat depending on your flexibility. Support your back using your hands and use the strength in your back, core and thighs to lower you down. Keep your hips directly above your knees by drawing your pelvis forward as you lower backwards. Reach for your heels and flatten your feet if your have the flexibility in the back and it feels safe to do. Open your shoulders, chest relax the head back and breath!
Physical benefits: physically this pose will stretch the front of the body, ankles and thighs, abdomen, opens the chest, shoulders, hips, especially the psoas. You will build strength in the back and improve postural alignment.
Emotional benefits: opening up your chest, heart, entire self in a physical form, to me is very freeing experience. It can help stimulate a sense of letting go, release and surrender. There is a sense of vulnerability in this pose – by being open we are allowing the unknown in. This could be both good and bad, but without this openness we are unable to move forward, learn, grow… We are adaptable and stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and this pose to me is not just about being open, it’s about strength. It takes strength to be open, to be vulnerable. To feel fear and still move forward into the unknown. So, my reason for choosing this pose is, I believe, in starting the New Year with openness! Open to new beginnings, opportunities, adventures, love, friendships, uncertainties, lessons, hope, discovery, life! Let go of things that hold you back and embrace all there is to come in 2016, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, it’s all part of life and the journey. Follow your heart, listen, breathe, release, embrace, open your body and mind, 2016… let’s go!
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