Ustrasana is among the basic yoga postures and comes under the Vajrasana group of asanas. All asanas under the Vajrasana series are very beneficial for the reproductive and digestive organs.
So let’s learn how one can do Ustrasana before learning benefits of Ustrasana.
How to perform Ustrasana?
- Stand on your knees and keep your knees and feet together
- Prepare yourself for the asana and take deep breaths
- Lean backward and hold your right ankle with your right hand
- Now grab your left ankle with your left hand and push your hips forward
- Bend your head and spine backward but don’t push yourself
- Support your weight equally on your legs and arms stay in the position as long as comfortable
- Release the position and relax
Now, we will see the advantages of Ustrasana. Ustrasana is beneficial for your health at both physical and emotional levels.
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Heath benefits of Ustrasana comprises of:
Physical benefits of Ustrasana
- Increases mobility in shoulders and upper back
- Stretches the chest and stimulates the lungs
- Helps in opening and stretching of hip-flexors
- Stretches the stomach and intestines to alleviate constipation
- Relieves from backache, rounded back, and drooping shoulders and improves posture
- Stimulates spinal nerves
- One of the most experienced benefits of Ustrasana is anxiety and stress relief.
- Increases confidence by eliminating body hesitancy.
- Increases creativity and brings a change in perspective
- Problem-solving skills are improved due to an increase in confidence.
- Another Ustrasana pose benefit is that it brings forward deeply rooted emotions and enables us to recognize and act upon them.
- Ustrasana links to the heart chakra or Anahata Chakra, the center of love. Emotions flush our bodies while practicing Ustrasana. You learn to be gentle with yourself and others.
- Make sure your ankles and knees are flexible and strong enough before trying this pose.
- Not suitable for a pregnant lady as more weight will be exerted on the knees.
- To begin with, you can keep the balls of your feet on the floor.
- People with severe back ailments such as lumbago should practice it only under the guidance of a trained master.
- People with osteoarthritis should not perform this asana.
- If you have a very rigid back, you can practice Ardhaustrana or Half Ustrasana. The Benefits of Half of Ustrasana are almost similar to Ustrasana.
Follow up Poses
To reap all benefits of Ustrasana without any contra-indications, you need to perform the follow-up poses after Ustrasana.
Balasana or Sishuasana is a relaxing posture. This asana stretches the back muscles and releases pressure on the spinal discs. This asana falls under the Vajrasana group of asanas, so one can easily transit into this pose without making much movement.
- Inhale deeply while standing on your knees and place your knees about hip-width apart
- Now bend forward with your torso between your thighs.
- Swing your hands forward and rest your head on the floor
- Relax in the final position
Ustrasana is a backward bending asana, so a forward bending asana like Paschimottanasana must be performed after it. Paschimottanasana stimulates circulation to the nerves and muscles of the spine.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your legs spread in front and your back straight
- Inhale and glide your hands forward and grab your ankles
- Exhale and go deep into this forward bend while keeping your spine straight.
- Keep your feet flexed strongly throughout and stay as long as you can
- Gently let go of the posture and relax
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- Setu Bandhasan
Setu Bandhasana is also a backward bending asana. It is performed to counterbalance Balasana and Paschimottanasana. This asana is beneficial in realigning the spine, eliminating rounded shoulders, and relieving backache.
- Lie down on your mat and lift your knees and keep your soles flat on the ground
- Inhale and lift your pelvis off the floor with the weight of the body resting on your legs and lower back
- Tighten your buttocks and try to touch your chin to the chest
- Hold as long as you can
- Now let go and lie flat on the mat. Relax for a few seconds
Ustrasana is called the Camel’s pose as the final posture resembles a camel’s hump. Adept users may try to go deeper into the asana by grabbing the right heel with the left hand and the left foot with the right hand.