This advanced pose is known as Camel. It improves spine and shoulder mobility, strengthening the thighs and back. It will also stretch your feet, ankles, quads, hip flexors, abs, chest and shoulders.
-From kneeling, lift your hips up and separate your knees to hip-width apart. Press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly into the mat.
-Bring the palms of your hands to your lower back with your fingertips pointing down.
-Squeeze your shoulder blades together to open up your chest.
-Lean back into a gentle backbend, look straight ahead and tuck your chin to your chest.
-If this is enough of a backbend for you, stay here for a few breaths. You don’t need to go any deeper to get the benefits from the pose.
-If your spine is more flexible, drop back a few more inches and take hold of your heels. Look up to the sky, open your chest and press into the soles of your feet with your hands to keep your lower spine long. You can come up on to your toes if that is more comfortable.
-Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
-Take a deep breath in. Exhale, release the pose and lower slowly down to the mat.
-Rest in Child’s pose for a few breaths.
Avoid this pose if you have a neck, shoulder, back, hip or knee injury.
Editor’s Note: Find more yoga routines designed specifically for surfers here.