Camel Pose is one of my favorite backbends. When you’re first starting out, it can be quite intense, so read on below for a few ways to modify until you’re ready for the full expression. The most important things to remember in camel pose are to keep your hips over your knees and think about lifting the heart as you press the pelvis forward, rather than focusing on arching the back. Feel free to get creative with your expression here if camel pose is a regular part of your practice: you can keep your hands in prayer, or to go deeper walk hands to your knee creases and drop the crown of your head all the way back for kapotasana. Camel Pose
- Begin standing on your knees with knees hip distance apart, and toes tucked under.
- Support your lower back with your hands: fingers can point down like your hands are in back pockets, fingers can point up towards the head (intense for the wrists), or you can make “moose antlers” with thumbs touching and fingers out to the sides (my preference.)
- Inhale. Press your pelvis forward and lift your chest. Begin to trace your gaze upwards.
- Exhale and pause.
- Inhale, continue pressing pelvis forward, lifting heart, and gazing back. If you can see the wall or horizon behind you, explore releasing one hand at a time from your back and reaching to take hold of the heels.
- If you can grasp heels comfortably, focus on taking deep breaths. You may release one arm at a time and stretch it overhead.
- To release, bring hands back to lower back for support. Rise up to neutral spine. then sit hips onto heels and allow blood to equalize before folding forward to release the lower back.
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