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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tip of the Week: Camel Time!

Camel Pose forces you to let go of things that don't serve you anymore. These might include drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, food additives or -- on an esoteric level -- toxic emotions and relationships. If you keep dietary toxins to a minimum you may find your practice becoming stronger and more enjoyable, even in difficult postures.

 Photo of student Tegan Spangrude
Camel at Lake Josephine, Glacier National Park

Camel pose opens your heart, solar plexus and throat chakras. We generally keep them protected. If you feel nausea, fear, anxiety as a beginner GOOD FOR YOU! You are doing it right. Have the courage to stay with it and feel a wonderful release happening in you body. The dizziness you experience as a beginner is completely normal so try not to get anxious. If you just keep pushing your hips forward and breathe, the dizziness will pass. When you feel dizzy it is because of a change in blood pressure in your body from the backward bend. It is a new sensation which can be scary because we are always forward bending. Remember to breathe! When entering into camel make sure your hands are are on your hips or "back jeans pockets" with fingers facing down. Take a deep breath and drop your head back, go back half way and stop. If you lean back half way you will realize how close your hands are to your feet. Once you realize how close your hands are to your feet it becomes less scary to just reach back. If your heels are more that an arms length away, keep your hands on you hips but PUSH your chest up and your hips forward. If you can reach your heels, grip your heels with your palms, and bring your body weight forward onto the knees instead of leaning back on the heels. When coming out of the posture, bring one hand back to your hip then the other and slowly come back up being mindful to keep your spine in alignment, coming up one vertebrae at a time. Finding your eyes in the mirror and giving yourself a few breaths while concentrating on your eyes will help with any dizziness and will calm you. Try to push your Camel to your edge without experiencing any anticipation or anxiety. As you learn to embrace Camel without fear, you will learn to love it!

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