Parsva Balasana: Thread the Needle Pose
Parsva balasana (PARS-va bah-LAHS-ah-nah) is a simple twist and gentle inversion that can warm up or calm down your body.
- Parsva = turned
- Bala = child
- Asana = pose
- Twists the thoracic spine.
- Gently compresses the muscles of the upper chest.
- Stretches the upper and outer muscles of the shoulder.
- Childs pose | Balasana
- Table top |Bharmanasana
- Cat pose | Marjariasana
- Downward facing dog | Adho mukha svanasana
- Place a blanket underneath your knees for extra cushion.
- A similar stretch can be done in seated or standing by crossing one arm over your chest and hooking it with the opposite arm.
- Place your forearm (rather than your shoulder) on the ground.
- Begin in a neutral tabletop position with your hands and knees on your mat.
- Exhale to reach your right arm under your left arm.
- Lower your right shoulder and ear to the ground.
- Keep equal weight in your knees, feet straight out behind you.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths. Release back to table top, then repeat on the other side.
Ustrasana: Camel Pose
Ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna), offers a long list of benefits for both the physical and subtle bodies. Thanks to its many different variations and modifications, there are plenty of ways for individuals of all levels to appreciate the chest-opening and chakra-opening effects of camel pose.
Philosophy + Origin
Camel pose is named because the shape resembles the hump on a camel’s back, however there are other ways to consider the name when approaching the posture. Camels are known for their slow, steady, almost methodical way of moving. Rather than trying to race into the posture, moving slowly and methodically will help you find its benefits safely. Camels use their humps as food reserves, like well-packed bags ready to be used when needed. This type of physical preparation, a part of the camel’s natural adaptation for survival, is essential for this pose as well. Take your time to gather and practice the skills and knowledge necessary to take a back-bending journey to ensure that you come in and out of the posture with ease and poise.