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The Camel Pose - Ushtra-asana
Ushtra-asana - The Camel Pose
Posture: Ushtra-asana - The Camel Pose
Translation: The Sanskrit word ushtra means camel.
Pronunciation: oosh-trah-sa-na
Difficulty: (5)
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The Camel Pose (Ushtra-asana) Instruction:
Sit up on the knees with the heels of the feet pressed against the buttocks and the calves of the legs flat on the floor.
Reaching backward, grasp the left ankle with the left hand and right ankle with the right hand.
Inhale through the nostrils and lift the buttocks off the legs arching the back and thrusting the abdomen forward and tilt the head as far back as possible.
Either hold the posture for the duration of the inhale breath or breath gently through the nostrils while holding the posture.
Exhale and return to the kneeling position.

The ushtra-asana is a powerful posture for streatching the spine, back muscles, shoulders and arms. It is best to practice it later in your asana routine after most of the muscles are limber and and you have worked the back and shoulders.

Hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath. If you choose to breath while holding the ushtra-asana, hold it for between thirty seconds to one minute. Repeat the posture three times.
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