Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing and teaching yoga for life.

Wild Thing Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Nicknamed the Wild Thing Pose (Camatkarasana), practicing this back-bending posture helps bring joy to your heart by greatly expanding your chest.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits


(Pronounced as "cha-mutt-KAR-AHS-anna")

The literal translation of Camatkarasana into English means "the posture of surprise or astonishment."

How to do the Wild Thing Pose

Step One

Get on your yoga mat in the table top position, keeping your arms straight with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. It is important that your hands and feet are in the proper alignment here before you go any further; otherwise, the entire rest of the pose will be out of alignment.

Step Two

Straighten your legs and press your weight back onto your feet to come into Downward Facing Dog Pose, or Adho Mukha Svanasana. Now move your weight over onto your right hand and bring your left foot over to touch the inside of the right foot. Lift your left hand off the floor and place it on your left hip. Shift your weight onto your right foot and roll your weight over onto the outside of your right foot. Raise your hips up high in the air so that you form a straight line from your torso through your hips and through your straightened legs. Lift your left arm up high in the air so that your hand is directly above your shoulders. You are now in Side Plank Pose, or Vasisthasana.

Step Three

Make sure your right hand and right feet are in line with each other. Now pick your left foot up and bend your foot back behind you. When your left knee reaches a 90-degree angle in the air, do not bend the knee any further. From here, drop the left foot down naturally behind you, pressing the entire sole of your left foot into the floor. Your left knee will remain slightly bent for the rest of this posture.

Step Four

Tuck your tail bone deep into your pelvis as you lift your hips up as high in the air as possible. After you have lifted up, straighten your right leg completely and keep the toes of your right foot pointed with the right foot turned out at a slight angle. Use this lift of your hips to arch the rest of your back.

Step Five

Inhale as you lift your left arm straight up in the air. Tuck your shoulder blades deep into your back as you expand your chest. Now extend the left hand up and lengthen the left side of your body as you stretch your left arm so that your left hand is now above your right hand.

Step Six

Release the muscles in your neck completely to allow your head to drop back down toward the floor. Arch your upper back and continue curling your torso as your left hand stretches all the way back. Try to curl your back enough that you can look down at the ground below you.

If you have the flexibility in your upper back and shoulders to do so, then keep extending your left arm until the tops of your left fingertips touch the floor. Your left hand should be on the floor next to the right hand within a shoulder width's distance of each other, and your body weight will still remain on your right hand and right foot. If you cannot reach the floor with your left fingertips, than simply hold your left arm up, stretching out behind your head.

Step Seven

Hold the posture for at least five breaths or more. To come out, bring your left hand off the floor and place it back on your left hip. Pick up your left foot and bring it back on top of the right foot, returning to Vasisthasana. Return to Downward Facing Dog and repeat the pose on the other side.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:


Pose Level:

Level 3

Contraindications and Cautions:

  1. Wrist and forearm injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  2. Shoulder or rotator cuff injuries
  3. Menstruation
  4. Pregnancy

Therapeutic Applications:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression or anxiety


  • Expands and strengthens the shoulders and chest
  • Improves posture
  • Builds core-muscle strength
  • Stretches out tension in the hips

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