How To Do Camel Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Camel Pose in a black tank top and yoga pants


Camel Pose stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs and groins. This pose can also open the deep hip flexors as well as improve your posture. Though it may look intimidating, you can learn how to do Camel Pose.

Much of our days are spent hunched over computers or steering wheels as well as walking with our heads down to check what is happening on our smart phone. All of this poor posture can lead to weak, overstretched upper back muscles as well as overly tight chest and anterior deltoid muscles. Not only does hunched over position look back, but it can become very uncomfortable and even painful over time. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Stretches like Camel Pose can help to undo all of the things that this poor posture does to our back. Many of our forward stretches like Downward Dog or Forward Fold are great for stretching hamstrings and low back muscles, but we need poses like Camel Pose that stretch and open the front of the body as well.

If your back is too tight to achieve a full Camel Pose try this. Instead of grabbing your heels, make two fists and place them in the low back area. Then perform the pose the same way but using the support of the hands and arms on your low back for protection. Be sure that when you release your head back you do it with a gentle relaxation without straining the back of your neck.

Here are the steps to doing Camel Pose:

1) Begin in a high kneeling position on your mat with shoulders directly above knees and tops of feet on the mat behind you.

2) Make two fists and place them on your low back against your sacrum.

3) As you inhale look up and lift your chest. As you exhale gently release your head back keeping neck relaxed and shoulders open.

4) Once back, engage your abdominals and reach your hands for your feet. Do not lean back on your feet, rather press your hip bones forward and continue to lift your chest.

5) Hold for 30 seconds. To release, come up slowly, engaging your abdominals to protect your spine.

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