Back Breaking Yoga

Happy Monday everyone!

Yesterday I talked about breathing. How important it is that we breathe properly in anything we do. It doesn’t just apply to yoga. However breathing is very important in any pose we do in yoga. I remind my students many times throughout the class to take deep breath’s. And not only for their sake but also for mine because I find myself sometimes holding my breath or forgetting to do a deep breath. Sometimes I feel like a broken record but it’s a good reminder for all of us. I like most people have stress in my life or stressful times in my life where working out or just doing deep breathing helps to calm me. When it’s been a completely crazy day are usually tell everyone that I need to kick my butt. That consists of me doing a power yoga class or running. What are your go to’s when you need to come down or de-stress? We all have something. 🙂

Today’s pose is especially useful to de-stress. When you see today’s pose of course you think you can’t do this. And I say you can. You may not look exactly like I do in the picture but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the full effect of this pose. There are many different ways to still achieve the same degree of fulfillment without breaking your back. Don’t not try this pose if you have neck or back issues!!

Today’s pose: Ustrasana- camel pose. Start off in a tall kneel with your legs together. Lift the upper body off of the lower body at the hips. Reach the left arm behind you and find your left heel. Then reach the right arm around you and find your right heel. As you arch back keep the neck in alignment with the spine lifting the chest up. To come out of this bring your left hand to your left hip and then bring your right hand to your right hip and slowly hinge forward bring yourself back up to a kneeling position.

Other variations: there are many other variations of this. You may start off by being in a tall kneel and just bring your left hand to your left hip and your right hand to your right hip leaning back just a little bit lifting the chest up. Then moving onto another advanced area of this pose is staying on the balls of your feet. It makes your heels higher for you to reach. With this, reach the left-hand to the left heel and then The right hand to the right heel. Again reaching the chest up leaning back.

What this pose works: psoas major, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, hamstrings, anterior neck muscles, deltoid, pectoralis major, rectus abdominis, apex of lung, and pectoralis minor muscles.