A camel has two humps, and a dromedary, a type of camel, has only one. Both store fat (not water) in their humps.
- Kneel on the floor with your legs and knees hip width apart.
- Press the tops of your feet into the floor, push the thighs forward, bring the hands to the lower back with fingers pointing upward and lift the chest.
- Breathe evenly in and out, as you extend the ribcage and broaden your chest.
- Continue to lift your chest with each breath as you curl your toes forward and bring your hands to the heels to imitate the camel’s hump. The head can come back (as shown) or tuck into the chest.
- Delight in the dromedary for ten seconds.
- Rest in the child’s pose after each of these backbends.
Increase the times and repetitions as your spine and chest continue to become more flexible.
Note to Parents and Teachers
This pose strengthens the back and kidneys. Because of its chest opening ability, it can increase lung capacity and can be especially beneficial for children with asthma. It also helps the posture of those with drooping shoulders and rounded backs.
Activity Ideas for Home and Classroom
Camels and dromedaries avoid trotting and galloping whenever possible in order to save water and energy. They can survive for months without water and can drink up to 35 gallons of water at a time.
Lift your chest, by letting the arch of your spine and your back ribs support you. Imagine your back ribs as lounge chairs for your lungs. Let your lungs expand and rest on these slatted chairs. Feel how much your lungs can expand when you breathe fully.
The lungs are light and spongy and are filled with millions of air channels which provide an enormous surface to absorb oxygen. If your lungs were flattened out, they’d make a slippery surface the size of a tennis court!*
* The Children’s Atlas of the Human Body by Richard Walker, The Millbrook Press Inc., 1994, Pg. 24