“…on your knees for Ustrasana! Camel Pose!” the words I dread every single class. Even to this day I still feel the remnants of what used to be a huge exhale of “urgh, do I have to?” as I slump my back and drag my feet to get into this posture.
The only thing getting me to this posture are the words “the postures you hate the most are the ones you need the most”. Yeah, yeah, yeah, now shut up… and let’s just get this thing over and done with.
If there’s a posture I could hate, it would be this one. These days I’m getting used to it and I will do it without as much complaint and drama but it doesn’t mean I’m not hating it inside.
Why do I hate this posture so much? I tell you why… because it hurts!
It’s the only posture that has made me feel like screaming, crying, running out of the room, dying, collapsing, panicking, grabbing my water bottle and throwing it at the wall and sometimes all those feelings at the same time.
I think there’s only ever been one time I’ve done this posture and come out of it thinking “I love my life!”
Sometimes I feel so crazy, overwhelmed and anxious, I just want to laugh hysterically. The pain isn’t just physical with this pose it’s also emotional. I don’t like this posture because it brings all my psycho craziness to the surface and makes me feel extremely vulnerable. It’s supposed to open your heart… more like opening a can of worms if you ask me!
At the beginning, the simple act of dropping my head back would send pins and needles down my arms and my arms would cramp. I’d feel my thumbs curling in and I’d have to shake my hands out.
You’d think after 2 years I’d get used to it or get over it but there are still some days where I will cramp up although I’m usually much deeper into the posture than just putting my hands on my lower back. There are also still those days where I can feel the stretch so much in my hips that I feel like all the ligaments holding my thighs to my hips are about to snap. Not to mention the pain when I pull the front of my shoulders when I’m grabbing my heels, while the back of the shoulders get all scrunched up into one big muscular knot.
This is definitely one of those postures that makes me think, “Why the hell do I do this to myself?”
Tony’s different though, he pushes like there’s no tomorrow, his hips go forward and he feels no pain. Bizarre!! He’s ease and grace with this pose and often gets asked to demonstrate it. But like they say, it’s normal to feel weird after this posture and weird to feel normal.
Here’s our progress. Unfortunately we didn’t take pictures when we first started but following is an honest estimate of where we started (pictures on the left) vs where we are now (pictures on the right).
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)