In our beginner yoga pose series, Michael Taylor from Strala Yoga in New York City, demonstrates and gives us the scoop on Camel pose.
How-to: Stand on your knees with toes tucked, knees hip width apart. Reach your hands one at a time to your heels. Move your hips forward to vertical over your knees, tuck your tailbone to release your lower back, and lift your middle and upper chest open with your breath. Your can keep your head up looking forward, or release your head to hang behind you.
Tips: For a more gradual release, bring your hands to your lower back rather than heels, and arch back gently, focusing mostly on lifting your chest up with your breath. For more of an opening, bring the tops of your feet to the ground, and walk your hands back along your calves, keeping your hips reaching forward.
Benefits: Opens the spine and chest.
Michael Taylor is a yoga guide at Strala Yoga in New York City. (Michael prefers "guide" to "instructor"). He's practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades. He holds a degree in mind-body medicine from Harvard, and studied alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. Mike is also the CEO of social media company Odyl, climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles.