What is Ardha Ustrasana?
Ardha Ustrasana is pronounced as ‘ ardha-oosh-TRAHS-anna’. The meaning of ardha is half Astra is a camel, and asana indicates yoga poses. It’s a simple back-bending yoga pose known to open Anahata (Heart chakra).
- English Name(s): Ardha Ustrasana, Half Camel Pose
- Sanskrit: अर्ध उष्ट्रासन / Ardha Uṣṭrāsana
- Pronunciation: Ardha-toosh-TRAHS-anna
- Meaning: Ardha: “half”, Uṭra: “camel”, āsana: “posture”
How to do Ardha Ustrasana
The simple and easy steps of doing ardha ustrasana are:
- Sit in Vajrasana.
- Stand on the knees without giving gaps between the feet by making the toes pointed backwards and resting them on the floor.
- Inhale; bend backwards slowly, place the hands behind the waist. Make the head bend backwards. Hold the position as long as possible (initially for 30 seconds).
- Exhale; slowly raise your head up and finally come to Vajrasana.
- This is one cycle. Do 2-3 times.
Nine health benefits of Ardha Ustrasana
1. Back pain: This is one of the effective yoga poses to treat back pain. Practising the half camel pose gives a soothing stretching to the rigid spinal region. It makes it supple and flexible, as well as the muscles associated with the spinal column. If you have neck pain, it should be performed with care.
2. Chest expansion: It helps to expand the chest with optimal thrust, thereby beneficial in relieving congestion from these regions. Because of adequate stretching, the lungs also get stretched, thus facilitating a suitable flow of oxygen in the lungs and the entire body. This is one of the essential yoga poses, which ensures better respiration and is ideal for those who are short of breath and are aged people.
3. Abdominal side fat burning: If it is practised according to the technique mentioned above and maintained the same for a certain period of time, it gives suitable stretching to the abdomen and its side. Regular practice may lead to a faster metabolism of fats in these regions, resulting in the thinning of shedding extra fats from these abdominal regions.
4. Spinal health: This is one of the best yoga poses for spinal health, as stretching leads to vertebral loosening and reduces congestion.
5. Boost immunity: The appropriate stretching to the concerned body parts leads to decongestants, thereby flushing out the toxins and harmful substances from the body. Therefore, this yoga may be practised regularly to fight infections, including coronavirus (COVID-19).
6. Menstrual issues: This is a simple and easy yoga pose, beneficial in case of menstrual difficulties. It should be practised daily, especially by those ladies who are experiencing menstrual discomfort.
7. Diabetes prevention: Patients experiencing sugar problems should practice this yoga pose regularly. It gives adequate massage to the pancreas and its associated muscles and ensures secretion of insulin hormone, thus helpful in the management and prevention of sugar.
8. Aids in digestion: The camel pose is suitable to activate the enzymes and organs of the abdominal region. The secretion of required digestive enzymes ensures proper digestion and also relieves constipation.
9. Thyroid prevention: The front of the neck is fully stretched, applying a good massage to the nerves and organs in this region. In particular, the all-important thyroid gland is regulated.
Ardha Ustrasana contraindications
The practice of ardha ustrasana should be avoided in the following conditions. Some of the precautions are:
- High blood pressure
- Low back injury
- Neck injury
- Enlarged thyroid
- Ardh Chakrasana
- Setu Bandhasana
Important facts of Ardha Ustrasana
- While performing the pose, the focus should be lifting the chest.
- Feet straight back
- Hips pushed out
- Hands should gently be placed on the waist to feel a lift through the shoulders.
- Relax your head back
- Level: Basic
- Style: Vinyasa
- Do initially for 30 seconds. Repeat it 2-3 times.
- It stretches the abdomen, thighs, thorax, and throat.
- It strengthens the back.
- Therapeutically, it is good for lungs, diabetic patients, respiratory disorders, back-related issues