Camel pose, or ustrasana, is a backbend where the arms reach back towards the bent legs. This posture is quite interesting in that it has various names, depending upon your relationship to gravity. When practiced from a supine position, it is bridge pose, or setu bandha, and the pelvis is lifted upwards, lengthening the lower spine and stretching the fronts of the thighs and hips. When practiced from a prone position, it is bow pose, or dhanurasana, and the hands grasp the front of the ankles as both the chest and knees lift away from the floor. In both of these positions, we must lift the body up against the pull of gravity. When practiced kneeling, it becomes camel pose, or ustrasana, and gravity draws us deeper into the posture, so we must use abdominal strength to resist, and work to open the chest to receive the respiration deepening effects of the posture, which often bring with them a sense of liveliness and joy.
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.