Small changes can make a massive difference in how you look and feel. If you can’t make a gym, yoga or pilates class there are so many exercises you can do safely at home that are an instant re-boot for your hard drive.

This exercise is a fantastic release for lower back pain and a counter balance for those that sit a lot in their jobs.

Here are the simple steps to walk you through this back bend version and help you tone at home.

The Camel Pose Ustrasana

Benefits: Stretches the entire front of your body, opens up the hips and hip flexors (vital if you do a lot of sitting for work, cycling or running), improves your posture, opens up the lower back and strengthens the lower back. Improves digestion!

Works: Chest, hips, lower back, gluteus, abs – digestive and lymphatic system

How To:

1. Start with your knees hip width apart and your feet and heels in line. Upper boy straight and place your hands on the lower back/gluteus with your thumbs facing out and all five fingers evenly placed. Bring your elbows in and push your chest out.

2. Slowly push your hips forward, all the time supporting your lower back with your hands, not letting those elbows come out. Squeeze your shoulder blades together

3. Drop your head back eyes open, mouth closed. Feel the stretch through your throat as well. Relax your face and keep bending back, pushing your hips forward.

4. Only take one hand off your lower/lower back when you can see the floor clearly behind you – place it on the corresponding heel – all the time coaching yourself to push your hips forward and open out the chest. Follow with the other hand, dropping the head and pushing your hips to the ceiling.

IMPORTANT. When coming up, place your hands back onto your lower/lower back and then bend your knees to sink down – do not throw your upper body forward to spring out of this pose. It should be slow and controlled.

5. Complete the posture by bringing your forehead to the ground and arms by your sides into Childs pose. Breathe

Back bends in yoga are always challenging and physical barriers present themselves quickly when you start out doing these poses. So listen to where your body is telling you it’s extra tight, of any kind of discomfort; rather than forcing the pose more ease off and focus breath to the area. Be patient, with practice you will get more flexibility.

Three things to keep in mind when ever you are exercising or trying something new at home: 

1. Trust your body – adjust and readjust as you work through a pose. Don’t rush.

2. Use your gluteus – all day every day! Switch those babies on when you are walking, working, talking, what ever it takes. It seems we have forgotten to engage our biggest muscle

3. Breathe – the importance of quality breath cannot be underestimated. Really concentrate on breathing into your lungs, breath through your nose as much as your can and heal your mind and your body through breath if you are feeling stressed.

Health & Happiness and hope you enjoyed this post

Nikki x

Read  why stretching is so important.


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Nikki Fogden-Moore Clients Corporate and Speaking