Yoga Tip: Camel – Part 2: Confessions of a Yogi


Here it goes: Sometimes I play it safe and keep my hands on my heels. Why? Due to chronic weakness in my kidneys/adrenals … which daily yoga practice has improved tremendously … but occasionally this instability creates irritation in my lower back. Of course the yoga helps me to clear this irritation/weakness. Sometimes, though, the prudent thing to do is to simply keep my hands on my hips, press my knees into the carpet, lift my chest/heart/solar plexus up and drop my head/shoulders back [Stage 1 Camel: see previous eYoga tip in archive, if you missed it]. I know that I’ll still get a great stretch. Plus, I know I’ll have ample opportunity in the next set or the next class to go for depth in the posture. When someone is committed to their practice, it is important to recognize when to challenge the body and when to back off. Following formulas, such as, always attacking the posture or always playing the posture safe, will invite either unnecessary strain or prevent a potential life-altering breakthrough. What I’m saying is that each posture is an opportunity to attune to the body/mind/soul and discover the appropriate level of challenge. This is especially true in regard to backbend postures such as Camel, because it is healthy backbends that heal the spine. We spend so much of our daily lives bending forward. So I invite you to develop your own long-term vision for stretching & strengthening your spine. Please remember that every yogi experiences lower back … sometimes it is occasional … sometimes rehabbing injuries requires working through daily pain. The key is to recognize the difference between therapeutic pain and injurious pain. Every day at Yoga Passion we help individuals develop this full body awareness. Join us! Please share your victories in Camel & other postures!