An Easy Guide to Ustrasana, or Camel Pose

The Camel Pose, or Ustrasana, stretches the full front body, ankles, thighs and groin, strengthening back muscles, stimulating the muscles in the neck and improving posture.

Camel pose

Who knew a Camel could open your heart? Ask a friend to cradle your neck on your way down and we guarantee - you will know love. Camel Pose will also strengthen your abs and stretch the front of the thighs, the spine, neck and shoulders.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Camel Pose, or Ustrasana in easy steps

Step 1:

Begin by kneeling on your mat. If you have sensitive knees kneel on extra padding.

Step 2:

Knees are hip width apart and thighs are at right angles to the floor, shins rooting into the mat.

Step 3:

Place your hands on your lower back, fingers towards the mat.

Step 4:

Lengthen your pelvis and tuck the tailbone under.

Step 5:

Inhale, lift and open your chest, shoulder blades moving down the midline of the back.

Step 6:

Begin to arch back, maintaining the extension through your upper body and engaging the abdominal muscles.

Step 7:

Don't scrunch your neck or your back - keep the line long, your chest lifted and your breathing steady.

Step 8:

If possible, move your hands one at a time from your hips and place your palms on your heels.

Step 9:

Keep your balance by pressing into your feet and hands, and moving the pelvis forward.

Step 10:

If that feels like too much, then raise your heels by turning your toes under and place your hands on the lifted heels.

Step 11:

If that's too much keep the hands on the lower back.

Step 12:

Keep the neck forward with the chin slightly tucked under or gently drop your head back.

Step 13:

Maintain the pose for 5 to 10 breaths. To release, bring your hands to the hips, inhale and bring the head and upper body upright by pushing down through your shins.

Step 10:

Counterpose in Child's Pose to stretch out your back.


Camel pose

Yoga pose category:  Kneeling

Level: 2

Beginners are often unable to touch their feet on first try. To help, try using yoga blocks as hand rests, placing them either side of the feet, so that you don’t have to stretch as far. Eventually, with practice, you will be able to reach your feet.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Ustra - Camel

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Camel Pose has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:

Lung issues

Back pain





Round shoulders

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Camel Pose if you have any of the following health conditions: 

High blood pressure

Low blood pressure


Knee injury

Neck injury

Back injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.