Guided Yoga: Camel and Downward Dog Yoga Poses

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Two poses for today are Camel and Downward Dog Yoga Poses

Camel and Downward Dog Yoga Poses

Camel Pose – Yoga

Camel Pose is a backbend that stretches the whole front of the body. It is performed on the knees and is often used as preparation for deeper backbends.

Steps

  1. Begin by kneeling upright with your knees hip-distance apart. Rotate your thighs inward and press your shins and the tops of your feet into the floor. Do not squeeze your buttocks.
  2. Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, with your fingers pointing to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone down toward the floor and widen the back of your pelvis.
  3. Lean back, with your chin, slightly tucked toward your chest. Beginners can stay here, keeping their hands on their back pelvis.
  4. If you are comfortable here, you can take the pose even deeper. Reach back and hold onto each heel. Your palms should rest on your heels with your fingers pointing toward your toes and your thumbs holding the outside of each foot.
  5. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor, with your hips directly over your knees. If it is difficult to grasp your heels without feeling compression in your low back, tuck your toes to elevate your heels. You can also rest your hands on yoga blocks placed on the outside of each foot.
  6. Lift through your pelvis, keeping your lower spine long. Turn your arms outward without squeezing your shoulder blades. Keep your head in a neutral position, or allow it to drop back without straining or crunching your neck.
  7. Hold for 30-60 seconds. To release, bring your hands back to your front hips. Inhale, lead with your heart, and lift your torso by pushing your hips down toward the floor. Your head should come up last. Rest in Child’s Pose (Balasana) or Corpse Pose (Savasana).

Benefits

  • Stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs, and groins,
  • Abdomen and chest, and throat.
  • Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas)
  • Strengthens back muscles.
  • Improves posture.
  • Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck.

Downward Dog Yoga Poses

Adho mukha svanasana posture replicates a dog bending forward, hence the name downward facing dog pose. This asana can be practiced by any beginner too and with all its benefits, one should include it as a part of daily yoga practice.

Steps

  1. Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the tabletop and your hands and feet form the legs of the table.
  2. As you breathe out to lift the hips, straightening the knees and elbows, form an inverted V-shape with the body.
  3. Hands are shoulder-width apart, feet are hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Toes point straight ahead.
  4. Press your hands into the ground. Widen through the shoulder blades. Keep the neck lengthened by touching the ears to the inner arms.
  5. Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.
  6. Exhale. Bend the knees, return to table pose. Relax.

Benefits

  • This pose leaves you energized and rejuvenates the body
  • It lengthens the spine, strengthens the muscles of the chest increasing lung capacity.
  • It brings strength throughout the body especially the arms, shoulders, legs, feet.
  • Helps to tone muscles
  • It increases circulation to the brain
  • It calms the mind and helps relieve headaches, insomnia, and fatigue

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