Camel Pose: Keep Your Heart Young

Don't go growin' old,

Before your time has come,

You can't take back,

What you have done,

You've got to keep,

Your heart young.

Man, life is a loaded gun. If you're really really busy, like most everybody, it will almost always happen that you forget to laugh, forget to have fun. Unless you're busy having fun, which I have been there before. That also can be unhealthy, depending on what kind of fun you're having. But for the most part lately, I have not been busy having fun.

So I have been listening to this Brandi Carlisle song between fender-benders, errands and work. Playing it really loud, as if I was trying to get it into my conscious from my sub-conscious. Get it in there, already.

Though I am interested and very glad about all the stuff I am doing. It definitely engages me, teaches me. However. I need something else--things are getting way too serious.

I need to write. I need to dance. Man, I need to dance. But most of all, I need to have fun, to laugh. But where the heck do you find the time for that when you're swamped? You literally live in a swamp, and you are swamped with tons of stuff going on. All caused by you. By me.

I have asked for all of this in one way or another. It's all enriching my life. But dang it, this girl needs some balance.

And I am going to get it. One way or another. Even if I only have time to watch a damn Seinfeld episode. I know there is one out there I haven't seen. And I will find it.

In the meantime, when the going gets tough, the yoga gets going.

USTRASANA. Camel pose. Oh me.

Anyway, I'm not saying that yoga is always the answer. I honestly think I need more than just yoga at this point. In fact, just writing this is making me feel lighter. I kept away for a little too long, and I apologize to both of us. I need this funky, little spitfire nothing of a blog.

But back to the pint, this pose makes me feel like I can fly. I have to go deeper every time for this feeling, though. Which is a fabulous challenge.

I almost always teach this pose in my classes, especially in morning classes, because it is such an energy-inducing pose. Or I should say energy-awakening. I smile at the students who look tortured, who keep coming back up, who won't let go of their necks, who hate this pose as much as I did when I start doing Bikram yoga. It takes a lot of courage. A lot of emotions are freed, and sometimes it feels like nausea. Sometimes you get dizzy. But if you take the time to walk through that and let it go afterwards, you will be different every time you do this pose. And we always pause after this one, either to accept and let go of negative energy or to enjoy the freed, positive energy. 

To do Camel:

1. From all fours, come to stand on knees. Make sure your knees are hip-distance apart, and your thighs are parallel. Check to make sure your feet are too, and they are pointing straight back from the knees. You can keep your toes tucked or bring tops of the feet to the mat. 

2. Place hands on lower back and lift the heart. Pull in the lower belly to protect the lower back. Keep inner thighs pressing to the back of the mat. Keep thighs perpendicular to the floor as you go back.

3. As you lift your heart, let your head fall back. Go back as far as you can, and when you are ready, let your hands come to your feet, bringing your thumbs to the insides of your ankles. 

4. Breathe and lift the heart. Pull the lower bell in again. 

5. Come out the way you came in: hands to lower back, pull in belly to lift your self back up, bring head to neutral.

It's a good idea to sit Vadrasana with hands in prayer for a moment to take stock of the energy you have freed. Heart should feel very alive. 

Breathing deeply in Camel causes the oxygenated blood to rush back into the heart when you come out of the pose. This is literally keeping the heart young. Fresh, oxygenated blood rejuvenating your heart, all the organs right there in the backbend. I love this pose. I needed this pose, and that's why I hated it.

Yeah, I know I need more than a camel pose. I need to ride a freaking camel. I need to have fun. I've got some things coming up. I might even have a date tomorrow night.