Improve Your Breathing with This Chest Opening Pose
The yoga camel pose is a kneeling backbending pose that stretches almost all of the muscles in the body. While the main focus is on the front side, it does an excellent job of adding flexibility to the spine and opening up the hip flexors for mobility.
This posture serves as a backbend and a great
heart opening pose. There are variations and modifications that make Camel achievable for everybody.
It focuses on the ankles, thighs, belly, chest,
spine, and shoulders. The pose can also help with anxiety, respiratory
problems, backaches, fatigue and menstrual issues in women.
Begin by posturing yourself on your knees
with them hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your lower back with your fingers
pointing down for support.
Push your hips forward with your
hands and slowly recline backwards with a straight spine. Lengthen your
tailbone down towards the floor.
If you feel comfortable at this point, you may take the pose a step further by reaching your hands back to your heels.
Taylor Demonstrating the Camel Pose
Practicing this pose against a wall is helpful for proper alignment and avoiding injuries to the spine, lower back and neck.
A chair is also a useful tool. Kneel with your back to the chair, feet underneath the seat, and the front of the seat in contact with your buttocks. Recline backwards, bringing your hands to the sides of the seat or the chair legs.
Avoid squeezing your buttocks so you may release tension in the lower back. This will also generate more strength in your thighs
If it is difficult to reach your heels you may tuck your toes under to bring them closer to your hands. If that is still tricky, yoga blocks are an excellent tool for this and many other yoga poses. Using the blocks allows you to get deeper into stretches and poses. This may not be attainable for some.
Bend Backs Open You Up
Back bending yoga poses that open the chest allow you to take in more oxygen with less effort for easier breathing. Aerobic exercises like running have always been known for improving someones lung capacity, but studies show that even doing brief yoga poses like camel pose and other chest opening movements can provide a significant improvement to someones respiratory capacity and breathing efficiency.
The less your heart and lungs have to work, the more stamina you will have for athletic performance and other daily functions. Studies are also finding that improvements in body posture can be attributed to increased lung capacity.
Flexible Hips - Nothing makes you look and feel older than having overly tight muscles and joints. This pose serves as a stretch for the entire front body, thighs, abdomen, chest and
throat. If you are working on opening your hips this pose is wonderful for the
Body Posture - Stretching out the spine and making it stronger helps with any body movements. If practiced correctly and safely you will notice improvement in your posture.
Health Benefits - This yoga exercise can stimulate your organs and improve your digestive system. This pose has been endorsed for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, and thyroid disorders; among others.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.