Anahata Chakra Opener—Ustrasana—Camel

Complete Yoga Breath
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All Chakra

Click images below for
4th Chakra postures.

4th Chakra

Camel Pose

Fish Pose


Diaphragm Breath
Diaphragm Breath

Camel Pose

Camel Posture - Variations

  • This posture, the same one I used for the preliminary to the Fish posture, is also for this Chakra. This is another very powerful Yoga posture. This is the goal (except your head should hang all the way back, and not held in this way). There are preliminary stretches to help you achieve this. There are also variations. Instead of having your feet flat, as shown in this image, you can stand on your toes with your hands on your heel. Some find that easier, others find it more difficult.

Detailed Instructions

  • You can sit cross-legged, with your legs straight and stretched, or as the illustration shows above. It will be easier to do this if you can sit on your heels. See below for a variation by Eugenia.
  • It is important to stretch into these positions slowly so you don't hurt yourself. In fact, just doing the first step over and over again until it's comfortable is a very good idea to reach the goal depicted above.

Preliminary Stretches

Fish preliminary
  • This movement, which was also given as a preliminary for the Fish pose, is a simple one to practice before attempting to do the Camel. Inhale slowly as you lift your face, hands and arms up and back, as Eugenia demonstrates.
  • Sit back on your buttocks between your heels, if possible, with your knees bent for this pose, just like you did with the Fish pose. If that is too difficult, have your legs spread slightly as she demonstrates here in Step 11 of the Moon Salutation on this site (see navigation menu above left for link). Elbows are slightly bent as Eugenia shows here. If this is easy, then you can try to come back with your elbows on the floor as shown in the top image of this page.
  • If this is too difficult, just sit with your feet under your buttocks. If that is too difficult, just stand up on your knees and do the best you can. This is not a contest. Do what you can and be happy with that!

Camel preliminaryYou can also practice to come back as I do in the YogaNata DVD, as shown left. If you try this one, stretch all the way back after you inhale and feel the stretch in your back (as you push the small of your back in as far as you can).

Progress will only come with patience, visualization and faith in your own body to get more limber with practice and time. It is truly all about believing in yourself and discipline. And what is discipline but forming positive habits.

More Details for The Camel

  • To do the variation shown at the top of this page, sit down on your knees with your feet (soles) under your buttocks.
  • Regardless of how you position your legs, stretch your arms up over your head and stretch your entire spine up as high as you can as you inhale. This is a setup for what is to follow. Exhale and relax into the position you have chosen for your legs.
  • Now inhale and then exhale as you lift your body to a kneeling position. Stretch back as far as you can without straining. Lift your chest up as high as you can.
  • Let your head hang behind you while you let your arms stretch behind you at the same time. Once you get into the position, begin breathing slowly until you begin to feel more comfortable.
  • Note: Do not attempt to let your head hang back unless it is easy. You can keep your chin pressed into your chest while you stretch only your spine and arms back in the beginning.


  • This posture, just like The Fish, helps bad posture and drooping shoulders. Practice this and the Fish series on a daily basis. Hold the posture while you inhale and exhale with your abdomen consciously. A hunched back can be improved with these postures.
  • Caution

  • If you have a serious thyroid problem, do not allow your head to hang behind you. Press your chin down to your chest and leave it there throughout this movement, until you have loosened up this area of your body through practice and discipline. Everything else will be the same.
  • Comments

  • If you are advanced, do this posture and then move into The Fish with your back on the floor behind you with knees bent. Your back is arched. The top of your head rests on the floor behind you. With the weight of your body on your elbows, grasp your feet.
  • With any variation above, bring your back down gently, first, and then your neck will not be strained lifting your head first. Do the Complete Yoga Breath (as instructed in the Breath series).

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