Open your heart this Christmas with Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

December Pose of the Month

Ustrasana – Camel Pose

Ustra (Camel) – Asana (Pose)

Level 1

December Pose of the month this year, is a heart opening back-bend that is accessible to most people, you may or may not get your hands to your feet but that’s not a requirement. And I feel as the days are getting colder its important to bring a little bit more heat building into the practice which camel pose provides.

December and Christmas can bring up mixed emotions for a lot of people. There’s the warm feelings that we associate with our childhood, the traditions and rituals that we have, allow us to hold onto the joy that Christmas brought us as children and we often build new traditions with friends and significant others that come into our lives as adults. However Christmas can bring up feelings of sadness or loss as we are faced with the reality that things can’t stay the same and some of the people that we love may not be able to join in the celebrations of the festive season. The end of the year can also highlight how little we have achieved or how much we’ve lost and we might not have reached the goal that we set in January on the other hand we might have surpassed our own expectations and possibly lots of wonderful things occurred for you over the last year.

Camel Pose stirs a lot the same emotions within your yoga practice. It is one of those poses that many people have a love/hate relationship with. Some people love the feeling of Ustrasana simply because back-bending comes easy to them, some feel it opens up all the tight areas in their back, chest and shoulders, some find it allows them to breathe easier while others love the energizing, joyful effect that Ustrasana can bring.

Flipping that over, other people (or maybe the same people) also find the tightness in the chest, shoulder and spine restricting, Some are afraid of injuring themselves moving in a direction they’re not used to, which in turn can make them feel panicky or find it difficult to breathe because they are fearful and hold their breath!

|“Christmas just like Ustrasana can be challenging but rewarding”|

All of these pros and cons that we experience in Camel Pose can easily be related to Christmas, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping are energising and joyful for many but stressful and anxiety producing for lots of people . Buying gifts for our friends and family can be really rewarding and produces feelings of love, kindness and gratitude that they are part of your life while possibly at the same time producing feelings of fear and financial worries. Christmas just like Ustrasana is challenging but rewarding.

We can use our yoga practice to help us become aware of our tendencies and instead of running away or trying to ignore them, face them, say hello and try to find a way to work with rather than against the limitations that you face on and off the mat.


  • Can increase creativity and problem solving by helping to change your perspective

  • Can help to process emotions. It can bring deep rooted emotions to the forefront so we can face them and if needed act upon them

  • Camel Pose is directly linked to the heart chakra (Anahata) which is the energy centre for love and responsible for a sense of caring and compassion for others.


  • Improves posture by opening up the whole front body

  • Loosens up the vertebrae and stimulates the spinal nerves

  • Opens up the hips and front of thighs especially the psoas (the deep hip flexors).

  • Strengthens the back

  • Stretches the ankles, thighs, pelvis, abdomen, chest and throat.

  • Stimulates the endrocine system

  • Stimulates the digestive system

  • Releases tension in the ovaries


  • Regulating the thyroid gland

  • Alleviating constipation

  • Asthma

  • Mild back ache

  • Fatigue

  • Anxiety

  • Menstrual discomfort


  • Serious lower back pain

  • Serious neck injury

  • Insomnia

  • Migraine

  • High or Low blood Pressure (keep chin towards the chest and if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy at any stage come out and rest in child’s pose head supported on a block)

  • Recent bereavement if you are feeling very vulnerable hold of on this pose for a while.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas this year.

Health and Happiness

Emma xoxo

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