Eka Pada Ustrasana “one-legged camel pose” is a back-bending position (and counter posture to the preceding forward bends in the Prana Vashya™ Primary Series). This is a challenging position which should only be practiced with an appropriate yoga teacher. Get it wrong and you will force your neck or lower back to take the load of the backbend, causing injury.
How to get into the position
Begin with the right side; fold your right leg back and come up on the knee- arms forward / extended out in front of you. Inhale and reach your left arm back and grasp your heal, then exhale and move your right arm back. Rise your chest high and keep looking forward. Then turn the waist in on the forward leg to square your hips, placing weight on the front foot. Finally, open your free shoulder back and drop your head back, to complete the posture.
To ensure your hips are square, try an inward rotation of the opposing hip to level the posture and do not place the weight too far forward. As you continue to hold the position for five full breaths: on each inhalation try to breath into the mid-back / thoracic cavity; on every exhalation try to increase the backbend by opening the free shoulder back.
Repeat on the left-hand side. As a variation to the full posture, try keeping your head forward / looking forward with your palm on your thigh instead.
Eka Pada Ustrasana:
Opens the chest and shoulders;
Helps dissolve fat on the thighs;
Stimulates the thyroid and the nervous system;
Increases circulation, improves digestion and increases blood flow to your face to help improve complexion; and
Helps combat stress and anxiety.
Avoid this posture if you have any chronic lower back or neck injuries or if you have any series blood pressure issues or if you are suffering from insomnia or migraines.