I love the freedom and openness that Camatkarasana or ‘wild thing’ brings to a yoga practice. Talk about a pose that allows you to find your edge, and build trust in yourself.
A balancing pose, back bend, strength builder, core strengthener, chest opener, and heart opening pose all one, wild thing is one of my favorite poses.
As always, begin with some sun salutations to warm up the body, and build up to Camatkarasana with poses to stretch and strengthen key muscle groups used in this pose such as: low lunge, standing forward fold (Uttanasana), extended side angle pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), cobra pose, (Bhujangasana), bow pose (Dhanurasana), and side plank pose (Vasisthasana).
Caution: Wild thing is contraindicated for people with rotator cuff issues or injuries, or wrist problems such as carpal tunnel.
Once you’re warmed up and have awakened your muscles, flip your dog into wild thing with these steps (courtesy of Yoga Journal):
Start in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog).
Bring your weight into your right hand and roll onto the outer edge of your right foot like Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose).
On an inhalation, lift your hips with buoyancy. Stay strong in your right hand making a clawing action with the fingers. Keep the head of the right arm bone back. On an exhalations, step your left foot back and place your toes on the floor with your knee partially bent.
Curl back through your upper back to create a sweeping action of the shoulder blades into the back of the rib cage.
On an inhalation lift your hips higher until you curl more into a backbend with your right foot solid on the ground.
Keep breathing and curl your head back, extending your left arm from your heart and expressing your power and freedom.
Hold for 5-10 breaths breaths, return to Down Dog and repeat on the other side.
Breathe into your open heart space, and enjoy the sense of freedom you feel in this pose.
– Your Charmed Yogi
(Photo: Sarah Layne Photography)