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Thread: Camel practice

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    Member Didi's Avatar
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    Default Camel practice

    I've been really focusing on the camel lately, and I wondered if any teacher out there has any suggestions for how to practice it, or exercises for how to improve it. My progress seems so slow.

    Right now, I break the move down very slowly over and over, and then I drill myself at a more normal speed (still pretty slow) with upper and lower body and then full-body camels, and then I try walking camels (right, then left, alternating), and then the camel en releve repeating in one direction, and then the other. I just still don't think it looks natural at all. I look very stiff somehow. The only improvement I can say I've seen in the last month is that I never (okay, very very rarely) lose my balance anymore... and of course I'm grateful for this.

    Also, a related question: how much is the neck involved in the camel? One instructor talked about using the neck, but I really cannot figure out how it's involved in the camel. It seems to originate from the sternum for me and not involve the neck at all, except as peripherally it's moving with the whole body. The reverse camel, okay, I get the neck involvement... but any help on this would be appreciated.

    Didi

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    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Hi Didi, I never heard of the neck being involved, but maybe that is because I learned the Egyptian camel which is not a full-body camel. I think the full-body camel is American style, but I'm not sure.
    Anyway it sounds to me like you have a good way of practicing, so don't worry, you'll get it and once you have it you'll never lose it!

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Didi, Keep practicing!!! You are on the right track. I agree with Moon that a full-bodied Camel(undulation) is seen more in American style dance and when dancing to up-tempo music you won't have a time for it anyway.
    Yasmine

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    Member RioDancerCO's Avatar
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    Hi Didi,
    If you're having trouble keeping the move isolated, my teachers would have us try it up against a wall or the mirror. If you move one vertebra away from the wall at a time and then back to the wall one at a time it forces you to be aware of using your whole spine and not 'skip' any part of the movement. As a side note, one of my first teachers was very insistent that the camel or camel with Arabic II did not carry the motion through the pelvis as an undulation would. She felt it was very important for the camel to remain in the upper body with almost no rocking of the pelvic bowl. I think this is one of those things for which there are many opinions so maybe find out how your group prefers it to be done. Have fun!

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    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    I go with moon on this!!! I don't do fulll body camel. My camel is more or less like raqia's. I never heard of getting the neck invloved. But I have seen a youtube clip (LOL), the dancer is using the neck in the camel. I could be tribal. Let me search, if I get lucky I'll post it. As Yasmine said it you are on the right track. Happy practicing!!!

    Cheers
    Janaki

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    camel practice:

    lie on floor, knees bent, feet soles flat on floor

    lift chest up to ceiling, next arch back up belly will naturally go to ceiling, roll pelvis down and "into" floor. release should be natural.

    you know what, i'm at the library and i cant explain it unless i'm doing it. i'll get back with you on it. i have the actual print out from a suhaila workshop.

    do you know the cat and cow to downward facing dog to child's pose? all yoga pose's. it a series. it is incredibly effective and fast for camel practice. you should check out a basic book on yoga or even a dvd at the library.

    a kick butt series for spinal articulation is the "firebird" or "sunbird" yoga series that you can find on fittv- namaste yoga, if you have cable. or perhaps you can do a search on the internet.

    i'll edit this later.

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    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity View Post
    camel practice:

    lie on floor, knees bent, feet soles flat on floor

    lift chest up to ceiling, next arch back up belly will naturally go to ceiling, roll pelvis down and "into" floor. release should be natural.
    I think this is quite cool! Thank you I will definitely try that!

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    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    Hi Didi and Everyone, Ever wonder why this move is called a camel? The other day I was watching a show on the Travel Channel about extreme travels or something like that...anyway the host was traveling in the Middle East with two young male guides on their way to trade dates for figs. Well he travelled priarily on camel back and after the first day he complained about the pain in his back , butt and legs. The next day he finally got the hang of it by allowing his pelvis to tuck forward and back as he straddled the camel. Well he mastered the elusive forward rolling of the hips that we call the "Camel".
    Now I'm not saying this is the origin of the camel move(and nor was he) but it was certainly enlightnening to see this move incorporated in everyday life, probably like so many others.
    For those who ride horses, can you describe your posture and does your hips roll forward and back to accommodate the movement of the horse?
    Yasmine

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    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Ooh that's interesting, Yasmine. I thought the movement was called "camel" because it resembled the movement of a drinking camel (also because my teacher sometimes calls the reverse camel the "puking camel")

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    I think this is quite cool! Thank you I will definitely try that!
    sorry library closed for sunday, i know without my input the whole forum is lost, right...

    anyway as word for word by suhaila

    cat and cow

    start on hands and knees, spine straight, looking at floor.
    cat:
    contract the abdominal while drawing chin to chest. pull your navel toward your spine (like a frightened hissing cat, basicly)
    pass through middle (starting position on hands and knees with flat back)
    continue fluidly to
    cow:
    arch back, head and tailbone press toward ceiling, navel drops down toward floor (like a sway back horse)
    pass through middle position back to cat, then cow, repeat for a series

    ok and the yoga stuff if you know the basics you can fiddle around and naturally you will find the transition between moves

    down dog to up dog to childs pose to cat, repeat series

    this is called cat series 1-4 or rolling cat series

    1. child pose to cat to cat lift to cat bow to push-up to child's pose, repeat series starting with cat

    2. child pose to cat to lift to downward facing dog, repeat series

    3. cat to upward facing dog to 1/2 locus to upward facing dog to childs pose , repeat series

    4. childs pose to cat bow to cat lift to cat to childs pose, repeat

    there is also a good one

    hero pose to rabbit but i could not attempt an explanation

    i also do the aziza's drills for rib isolations. its very good in stretching out all those muscles used in a camel, i think that a good camel starts with good ribcage isolations.

    all you do is

    downward crescent to right front corner, back to center
    downward crescent to right side, back to center
    downward...to right rear corner, back to center
    downward crescent to right side, back to center
    then repeat all, do both sides

    then upward crescent in same series on both sides

    then upward circle, then downward circle, then break the first series down into a 4 count, its for increasing range of motion.

    it sounds very basic but is very effective.
    you can do the same with hip slides and circles.

    good luck, and nothing works better than doing the camel over and over again. if you have to go slow and break it into individual components, oh well. hope this helps.

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