The Health Benefits of Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Posted by: cnyha on Jan 11, 2011 in news

Our staff at CNY Healing Arts presents you with one of our favorite asanas. What we love about camel pose is that, when performed correctly, nearly all the major muscles of our bodies are being stretched. In addition, it stimulates and tones many of our limbs, including the chest, abdomen, and thighs. In short, the front side of our bodies are getting fully involved. Note that beginners should only hold this posture for about 20 seconds to avoid straining anything.

Ustrasana work subtly, but brilliantly, to improve conditions of the digestive, respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, skeletal, and circulatory systems. This posture is recommended for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, spondylitis, and voice disorders. Doctors may also suggest camel pose to people who have constipation, colitis, dyspepsia, obesity of the thighs or arms, and Genito-urinary disorder of the kidney, urinary bladder, ovaries, testes and prostate. In Sanskrit, “ustra” means camel and “asana” means pose, hence the English name.

Getting into Camel Pose:

Begin Ustrasana by kneeling on the floor or a yoga mat. If your knees are sensitive, kneel on extra padding. Make sure your knees are hip width apart and thighs are perpendicular to the floor. The soles of your feet should face upward, toenails touching the floor. Place your palms on your hips and try to keep your outer hips as soft as possible. Breathe deeply.

Use your hands to lengthen your back pelvis and draw the tailbone towards the pubis. Inhale and lift your heart by pressing your shoulder blades to the back of your ribs. Begin to arc your back. Withdraw your arms one at a time from your hips and place them on your heels. Press your palms firmly against your heels to keep from losing your balance. Turn your arms outward so that the elbow creases face forward. Arch your back until your arms are straight. Imagine that there is a string tied around your waist that pulls you upward towards the sky.

If you find it difficult to keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor, try tilting the thighs backward individually as you touch hand to heel, using entirely the left or right side limbs. Press each thigh back into perpendicular position before joining the opposite hand and heel. Furthermore, if you cannot touch your feet without compressing your lower back, turn your toes under and raise your heels.

You can keep your neck at a neutral position, neither flexed nor extended, or drop your head back. Be careful not to strain your neck or tighten your throat. Maintain this posture for 30 seconds to a minute. Breathe calm and deep.

Benefits of Camel Pose:

  • Reduces fat on thighs
  • Opens up the hips, stretching deep hip flexors
  • Stretches and strengthens the shoulders and back
  • Expands the abdominal region, improving digestion and elimination
  • Improves posture
  • Opens the chest, improving respiration
  • Loosens up the vertebrae
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Helps to heal and balance the chakras
  • Strengthens thighs and arms
  • Improves flexibility, especially in the spine
  • Stimulates endocrine glands
  • Releases tension in the ovaries
  • Stretches the ankles, thighs, groin, abdomen, chest, and throat
  • Cures constipation
  • Tones organs of the abdomen, pelvis, and neck
  • Complements overall health and well-being
10 Comments on "The Health Benefits of Ustrasana (Camel Pose)"

  1. Glenn A. Kirby on Sun, 9th Oct 2011 6:19 pm 

    I’m 52 and I first did the Camel Pose in 1978-I was then 19.The results were amazing as there was an immediate effect on my nervous system:I became more daring and assertive and able to accomplish an increasing number of physically and mentally demanding tasks.Concentration improved and focusing vastly got better.I believe this asana by itself can transform an individual in mindset and general demeanor.I recommend it highly.

  2. admin on Mon, 10th Oct 2011 8:55 am 

    Hi Glenn,
    Thank you for sharing your passion for yoga and success in particular with mastering the Camel Pose. So glad to hear how it has improved your life. We love success stories!
    Thanks again,

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  4. Nick on Wed, 23rd May 2012 12:01 pm 

    Hi there. Thanks for this write up, that’s an amazing list of benefits!

    I was recommended this pose through a book (Structural Yoga Therapy, Mukunda Stiles) for round shoulders / upper back weakness/pain. I’ve only been doing it a few days and already it seems to be helping!

    Can I ask where you sourced your list of benefits from? I’m interested in learning more.

    Many thanks,


  5. Blake on Sat, 30th Jun 2012 3:07 am 

    I think the camel pose is also a very beneficial pose. I have always had small shoulders and chest due to lack of self-esteem and I think this pose helps with all three of these things. YES to CAMEL POSE!!!!

  6. amisha on Sun, 13th Jan 2013 6:10 am 

    When I do the camel pose I usually feel ill/nauseaus. Today I fainted in class. What does this mean? For me

  7. CHIRANJEEV GUPTA on Sat, 16th Mar 2013 7:34 am 

    Camel pose changed my life.A time was there when I was suffering from Nephritis.14 repeatations of Nephritis I suffered in a span of my 15years of my life(during 1982-83).Finally I was on cortico steriod therapy to suppress it.If discontinued CORTISON,within 2 days traces of ALBUMIN & RBC used to be there in my urine.I was fed up.Then I read a book YOGABALE ROG AROGYA by Swami Sivanada Saraswati of Nilachal,Guwahati,Assam,India,where it was mentioned that Camel pose is highly beneficial in KIDNEY DISEASE.That evening my urine report showing trace of ALBUMIN & RBC are +++ each and the whole day urine output was 1000 ml only.On the same evening I had started CAMEL POSE(USTRSANA).Next day urine output increased.And on the next day(on 3rd day)my URINE OUTPUT FOR THE WHOLE DAY WAS 4.5 LITRE and there was no trace of ALBUMIN & RBC in my urine.Since then I am leading normal life.

  8. cnyha on Wed, 20th Mar 2013 11:33 am 

    What an inspiring story, thanks so much for sharing this with us. Continued peace and wellness to you!

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    […] Often our fear in body of what could happen if we bend that far back and our fear in mind of being the one in control will prevent us from fully enjoying and reaping the benefits of the pose. It stretches many of the major muscles in the body, stimulates digestion and works to improve conditions of all of our body systems. < […]

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