Camel Pose has been one of the best yoga teachers I have ever had. It is one of the biggest heart openers in any practice and that means it has the biggest potential to make you feel all the feels and emotions you didn’t even know were there. There are days when I go into it without a moment’s hesitation, and find myself smiling as my body deepens further into the pose. Then there are days where I cry at my first breath, and by the end there are tears mixed in with the sweat and the sheer effort of holding the pose makes my whole body shake. No matter the feeling, there is this incredibly deep peace that finds me after that emotion gets released. Coming out of the pose slowly, sitting back on my knees and letting my palms fall face up in my lap is one of the most beautiful moments in my practice. The whole thing is an act of surrender, surrender to the day, to your body and to whatever I happen to be feeling. The best part of it is, sometimes it helps me figure myself out: I’ll have a day where I feel off, but I just don’t know why, a few breaths in Camel will show me what it was that was lying just under the surface – frustration, anxiety, fear, sadness – it all comes out. Camel Pose is never hard for me to get into, the tough part is staying in it and dealing with what I find there. Sometimes there is an obvious reason for it all, sometimes there is none – but the only thing that matters is surrendering to it and accepting it, and ultimately learning to let it go.
Say Hi to Ellen everyone
“This pose has three different days for me. Some days this pose is so liberating. If my hips and shoulders are open enough, this pose is full of love, strength and serenity. Any heart opener is. Camel can be such a beautiful, peaceful pose. Some days, it takes a lot of emotional strength. Opening up your heart so much and surrendering to the pose, brings you face to face with any emotion sitting just beneath the surface. Some emotions you didn’t even know you were feeling and after a few seconds in a heart opener you’re crying or fuming with anger and you’re not sure why. The most important part? Accepting that, breathing and moving straight back into the pose, surrendering and letting go. I’ve learnt that sometimes you don’t need a reason to feel a certain way, you don’t need a reason to cry, the goodness comes from letting yourself feel whatever it is and moving and breathing through it. Then there are those days when my shoulders and back are so tight that my entire lower back spasms and my shoulders feel like they may just pop, those days you listen to your body, that’s not going to happen today and that’s okay.”
“Camel pose taught me the art of letting go. Your practice benefits a huge amount when you’re in tune with your body. Listen to your body, if it restricts a movement don’t go there, if it feels good stay a little longer and if your heart hurts, let it be. Going with the flow was always such a cliché phrase for me, but learning to go with the flow in my practice makes every practice exactly what it needs to be for that day. As for off the mat, learning to let go in life is a little harder. Whatever is going to happen, will happen. If we know that and we know we cant change it, why do we try so hard to resist the flow of life? Whatever is happening is happening with reason and wherever you’re going has a purpose. Its crazy how different life is when you learn to move with it not against it. So flow with it. Let it be. Let things go. You’re exactly where you need to be.”
Camel Pose taught me how to accept whatever it is that is going on, and realise that the only thing I can control is how I react to things. Fighting emotions and situations, resisting them and planning for the worst possible scenario that may never even happen will not stop it from happening. All you can do is breath and create the space you need to process whatever you are going through. We are both hugely complicated and infinitely simple beings – all at the same time, so sometimes there is no reason for things and you just have to let them be what they are.