Ustrasana | Camel Pose | How to do Camel Pose


camel pose

Camel Pose (Ustrasana) is an energizing and beneficial backbend -  a welcome, heart-opening addition to your sequence that counteracts slouching and relieves lower back pain.

It's worth taking the time to do it well. The main thing to avoid with Ustrasana is flopping into the pose and taking the brunt of the backbend in your neck or lower back. Instead, lift and lengthen your torso before you gently arch into the pose. Keep some length and space along the back of the neck and the low back.

It's also important to tune in to your breath as you approach this backbend. Breath is a way to harness and direct our prana.

It's difficult to feel confident and trust yourself if you don't feel powerful inside or if you are cut off from the very energy that enlivens you," 

Keeping in mind the dynamic of movement and the backbend this pose is best avoided by senior citizens, pregnant women, postnatal women and women during menstruation. It is a good practice for gymnasts and dancers. Camel Pose is considered a base pose. Camel Pose is a great preparatory pose to all advanced back bending asanas like Kind Cobra Pose, Pigeon Pose and Half camel pose variation raised toe. Camel Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences and is a good counter pose to navasana (boat pose).


Bump up your energy (and confidence!) by bending back into Camel Pose. Ustrasana counteracts slouching and relieves lower back pain with a generous, heart-opening stretch.


  • come onto your knees, place them hip-width apart, and then tuck your toes
  • engage your inner thighs, draw your lower belly in and up, and roll your shoulders back
  • on an inhalation, lengthen through both side waits, lift the chest up
  • with the lower body stable, on an exhale start to come into your backbend keeping the chest lifted and without crunching the neck or lower back
  • as you lean back, find your blocks or heels with your hands - or you can do this one side at a time by circling one arm up and behind you
  • keep your inner thighs engaged, firm the shoulder blades into the back and stay for a couple of breaths
  • use your inhalation to help you come back up, then sit on your heels with a neutral spine for a moment


  • Beginners : 30 seconds - 1 minute
  • Intermediate : 1- 2 minutes
  • Advanced : 2 - 3 minutes

  • if you have any tension or sensitivity in your neck, or if you feel lightheaded, keep your neck in a neutral position or with the chin towards the chest so that the back of the neck stays long and relaxed
  • if you have a back injury, a more gentle backbend like Cobra or Sphinx pose may be more suitable - please check with your medical practitioner for specific advice
  • use a blanket under your knees or double up your mat to reduce any knee sensitivity Note - this will raise your knees and so may mean your hands have further to reach back to your heels, so use blocks if needed


Performing the camel yoga pose benefits the body in the following ways

  • helps in stretching out the deep hip flexors, which further promotes greater hip flexibility
  • the asana can also help improve your posture because it focuses on stretching out your back, thereby helping to straighten it
  • effective in providing relief from lower back pain by helping your hip flexors open up
  • provides good blood circulation to all the organs because the whole body engages in this yoga asana
  • while stretching out your upper body to do Ustrasana, you are essentially stretching out your back and shoulders. this aids in improving your mobility
  • Ustrasana benefits the female body by opening up the pelvic area. This effect can be linked to reduced menstrual pain in the abdomen, ovaries, etc
  • The asana emphasis the opening up of the leg muscles, ankles and hamstrings (the muscles at the back of your thighs). These Ustrasana benefits can help prevent conditions like vericose veins
  • while doing the camel pose, you have to regulate your breathing (while getting into the pose, holding it, and then leaving the pose). this breathing exercise helps enhance lung capacity, which increases the elasticity of the lung tissue
  • while stretching your entire upper body backwards, you engage you core, back and throat. This has a greater and positive impact on your adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands
  • the energy flow associated with the camel pose helps align and provide energy to your chakras
  • it is also beneficial to get rid of constipation and other abdominal related issues, as it completely stretches out this particular region


For beginners, getting into the pose in one go, or even maintaining the posture initially, can be difficult. Therefore, you can use the following tip to get comfortable in doing the pose without causing any pain or injury:

  • if you cannot reach your heels in one go, you should use your toes to elevate your heels and then touch them with your palms
  • if you still can't reach your heels, you should use blocks placed at the side of your heels and touch them with your palms instead
  • if you have trouble stretching properly, you don't have to squeeze your buttocks or push your belly out

  • you can work on the opening in the chest, lifting your breast bone as you inhale, shoulder blades firm on the back. Keep your hands on the lower back for support and pay attention to keeping length in the lumbar area
  • try this pose with the front of your body against a wall. keep pressing the thighs to the wall as you bend backwards
  • if you can easily take hold of your heels try pointing your toes back instead of tucking them under

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