If you view a photo of someone doing a pose called camel, you’ll notice it looks uncomfortable and it is. Along with it, you’ll frequently see a list of physical benefits that happen over time when doing the camel pose.
I’m certain that the combination of the backward-bending camel, alternating with forward bends healed my back. I’m aware, from my own experience, of how camel posture feels and how it works toward physical healing.
The benefits of doing a camel pose are improved breathing, fatigue relief, increased torso, and hip flexibility, strengthened back and glutes, toned thighs, and hips, stimulated endocrine glands, tensed organs in the abdomen, pelvis, and neck, correction of slouching posture, the opening of the respiratory system to better oxygen use.
In my book YOGA SONG (Rochak Press June 2022) I treat camel – and yoga- from the inside out. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 where I write what happened to me during a pivotal moment in my practice doing camel in Hawaii. You see, yoga is an inside job, and a lot is going on under the surface and it’s hard to describe. But that’s why I wrote a YOGA SONG. It’s yoga from the inside out in 23 lyric narratives.
Excerpt from YOGA SONG on camel pose from the inside in Chapter 5 “Making Heroes.”
The workshop leader said a deep backbend is a heart-opening pose and reminded us that an emotional reaction to a camel pose is normal because the posture can make us feel vulnerable. Pointing to his heart as the organ which should be at the highest position during camel, he may have even said, ‘lift up your hearts’ when stressing the importance of making one’s heart the highest point.… read more...
A day after moving into my apartment in Hawaii, I was on the floor with back pain. I had endured many injuries: at 10, I bounced off a trampoline and landed on the ground, a second back injury I endured while weightlifting, and yet again in my 40’s when I fell from a high roof.
In Hawaii, I noticed signs for yoga studios everywhere and I started thinking about claims I had heard regarding yoga and healing for back pain. One day, in a desperate attempt to fix my damaged back and with no background or knowledge of yoga, I decided to try it and hoped to find something to make me strong in my broken places. I feared collapsing in the hot yoga room, but was also confident that if my back held up I would too.
I planned to try yoga for 30 days and then decide if I would continue. I made it through 24 classes that month. My resolve was galvanized and my hope for healing ignited. In my journal entry I wrote, Yoga is the way to go for healing back pain. It’s so simple, why don’t more people do it? But my transformation from injury to healing went beyond my back as yoga steered me into deep waters.
“Sail forth – steer for the deep waters only
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee and thou with me”
American poet Walt Whitman in, “Passage to India,” from Leaves of Grass
I continued with yoga and wrote about my experience because I thought my practice in a heated room would also benefit me in other ways.… read more...