Eight steps to wellness: Yoga lessons – Episode 4

ushtrasana

Yoga is an ancient tool to discipline the body and mind, and lead to spiritual awakening and becoming one with your true self. Follow the eight steps to bliss – asana being one of the key steps on the journey to well being. Learn how to do the ‘Ushtrasana’ with instructions from popular yoga exponent in Oman, Prema Nagesh:

Origin and meaning

Ushtra means camel and asana means posture. This asana is mentioned in one of the classical text of Hatha Yoga called Gherand Samhitha. It is mentioned in prone position. However, here we are practicing ushtrasana standing on knees.

Limitations

One should avoid doing ushtrasana if suffering from health conditions like hernia, neck pain, vertigo issues and knee pain. One can use props like cushion and wall support like facing the wall to understand the right pose.

Steps

Props needed – a yoga mat and a cushion to be placed under the knee, if having discomfort on knees. Sit in Vajrasana, if not suffering from knee pain. If having knee pain, then place a cushion below knees.

Stand on knees with knees and feet shoulder width apart. One can face the wall and stand.

Inhaling gently place your hands on hips and push forward towards the wall.

Exhaling place your arms, one by one, on heel without putting weight on heels.

Feel the arch in lower back, upper back and stretch in neck. Maintain the posture for one breath-out as a beginner.

Inhale and release the posture while exhaling.

Relax with a long deep breath.

Repeat in the same manner 3 times.

Relax in vajrasana or stretch the legs forward . Focus – on shoulders, hips, thigh and breath.

Benefits

It helps to strengthen the spine

It is very beneficial for tired upper back and lower back

People suffering from thyroid disorders must practice 4 times a day

It has been time-tested for many benefits, mainly thyroid and children suffering from shoulder pain due to heavy school bag

It opens up the chest muscles and is beneficial for asthma and wheezing

Do not look at your body like a stranger but adopt a friendly approach towards it. Watch it, listen to it, observe its needs and requests. To be sensitive is to be alive.

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