Ustrasana, camel pose

Each pose we do should leave us feeling complete and wonderful. If we come out of a pose craving another pose, then something was amiss in the first pose. If you need a Balasana (Child’s Pose) after Ustrasana (Camel Pose) to release your lower back, there is something that needs fixing in your Ustrasana. If you need to lie flat on your back after Salambha Sarvangasana (Shoulder Balance Pose) to release your neck and upper back, your Salambha Sarvangasana isn’t aligned perfectly. If you need to arch your back backwards after Uttanasana, it is your Uttanasana that needs work.

Now, let me add a caveat, this is not to say your body may not need balancing after certain poses. It is infinitely wise to do some forward folding after back bending to elongate the hamstrings which are contracted in back bends. It is also helpful to calm the energy. But, my point here is, while balancing is helpful, if you need a pose after another one to help you release tight areas, or just crave it to feel more complete, you know you need to align the pose better, there is someplace to work.

So, watch your students when they come out of poses. If you need to help half the class release their backs after doing a backbend, know you have work to do in that pose to help them learn to get the pose out of their backs. If you find one student holding her lower back after Uttanasana and leaning back, help her to get her pose into her hamstrings and out of her back.