Woo Hoo we’re on the floor…
There is typically a belief in a lot of yoga classes that when we get to the floor we’re on the home straight and that things from here on in get easier. On average, the heart rate comes down, we know savasana is looming (yee haa) and we don’t have to think any more about balancing on one leg with the other foot contorted behind our head. On the other hand, I’ve heard great teachers talk about how the ‘real’ yoga begins when we make it to the ground. The breath, the surrender the connection…. We begin to peel away and discover.
While undoubtedly some seated or reclining postures are blissful, there are some postures that whilst officially ‘on the floor’ can be the most challenging and rewarding shapes of all. Think bow pose, malasana, shoulderstand, and of course that good mood-inducing backbend we all love…. Camel Pose!
One or Two Humps?
Camel Pose or Ustrasana is for most of us the deepest backbend we do unless you have full wheel as part of your regular practice. Camel pose is great for supporting and improving respiratory ailments, mild backache, fatigue, anxiety, and menstrual discomfort but should be avoided if you are experiencing migraine, strong lower back ache or neck pain, and either high or low blood pressure.
Camel pose can be quite an exhilarating pose but can also bring frustration to a lot of students. For those struggling with this shape we outlined some great modifications to help you get the most out of your Ustrasana.
Give it to me Baby!
For many reasons, students very often aren’t able to touch their hands to their feet without straining their back or neck. Firstly understand that it is not a prerequisite that you bring your hands to your heels… keeping them on your lower back for support is just fine. Secondly, try to turn your toes under and elevate your heels bringing the heels closer to your hands making the reach a little more accessible. If this doesn’t work, the next thing to do is to rest each hand on a block. Position the blocks just outside each heel, and stand them at their highest height
We’re here to help… we promise
When our teachers teach a class they will always give options for you to find a version of more challenging shapes that is best suited to where you are at that moment. Each day will be different and each class will be different.
If you find a posture challenging- especially one as deep as Camel Pose… always ask one of our amazing teachers to work with you to find a good option. After class is a great time to have this kind of chat, and you know what??? We truly, no jokes aside, I love talking all things yoga…. It’s what I’m here for – so don’t be shy!