Ustra = Camel; Asana = Posture
From a kneeling position, torso is upright and knees are hip width apart. Knees press into the earth as do the tops of the feet. Torso is lifted up through the crown of the head and shoulder blades are drawn down the back creating space for the vertebral column. Hands rest behind the back on the upper rim of the pelvis with the finger tips pointed down and spread wide for support. Pressing down through the feet and knees, the rib cage is lifted up out of the hips evenly from all four sides. The back is arced back as the sternum is lifted. Head is kept in alignment with the spine as the upper back arches and the head is released back. The sternum is lengthened and arched from the knees to the crown of the head. If the hips remain over the pelvis, the hands can be drawn down to the heels. The front of the back is lengthened creating space between the shoulder blades and across the front of the chest.
Benefits of the posture:
- opens the throat and thyroid
- opens the muscles of respiration for fuller breathing
- activates the immune system, especially the thymus gland.