Etymology and origins
A different (standing) pose is given the name Ushtrasana in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi. The modern pose is described in the 20th century by two of Krishnamacharya's pupils, Pattabhi Jois in his Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, and B. K. S. Iyengar in his Light on Yoga.
Ustrasana is a deep backward bend from a kneeling position; the completed pose has the hands on the heels. The backs of the feet may be flat on the floor, or the toes may be tucked under for a slightly less strong backbend.
The name Ardha Ustrasana, Half Camel pose, is given to two different poses. One has the hands on the hips; the other has one hand on the heel on the same side, as in the full pose, and the other arm stretched back over the head.
Twentieth century advocates of some schools of yoga, such as B. K. S. Iyengar, made claims for the effects of yoga on specific organs, without adducing any evidence. Iyengar claimed that this pose would benefit "drooping shoulders and hunched backs". He claimed that the "whole spine is stretched and toned".
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- Iyengar 1979, p. 88.
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