Wild Thing

Yoga Poses

Wild thing Camatkarasana


Wild thing is an energetic heart opener that will rock your asana practice. Sometimes called, Rock star, this pose combines an inverted backbend with a balance that resembles the onstage choreography of some rock-n-rollers. And, its Sanskrit name means ‘unfolding of the raptured heart’. Wild thing also known as flip-the dog, is a counter-pose to downward facing dog. Its many names are only matched by its applications and uses in sequencing and practice. This is a playful pose that requires some flexibility of the spine and shoulders. Preceding poses should include plank and side plank, bridge pose and downward facing dog.

Begin from downward facing dog. Spread the fingers of both hands and press down with thumb and forefinger. Stretch the sternum forward to lengthen the spine. Inhale and extend the right leg back to 3-legged or split dog. Exhale and bend your leg at the knee, drawing the heel towards the hips, knee pointing upwards. On the next inhale, shift your weight into left hand and outer edge of left foot (as for side plank). Lift the right hand off the mat and extend the arm over the head.    Pivot onto your right foot pad and spiral the chest skywards, until both feet are flat and grounded. Deeply arch the back and reach the right hand back. If you want to take the pose further, bring the right hand onto the ground into upward facing bow or wheel. To exit the pose, Shift the weight back onto the left hand outer edge of your left foot and flip back to downward facing dog. Repeat other side

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Awareness is on relaxing the spine and unfolding the chest and heart.  Imgaine a golden thread hoisting your hips skyward as the chest melts open, revealing a golden glowing heart radiating energy throughout the body.

Technical Comments

Shift weight onto left foot and hand before rolling onto the outer edge of left foot.    To stabilise in side plank stage of pose, claw the mat with finger tips and flex the left foot.  Keep the back relaxed and lift the hips, when moving into the backbend.   To deepen the back arch lift the heart skywards and let the head drop back, releasing the neck.   Breathe into the chest cavity and curl the shoulder blades into the back ribs.  Lift the heels to open the back and lift the hips higher. Relax the heels down, while working to keep the hips high.

Benefit Comments

  • Strengthens the legs, back and shoulders
  • Improves flexibility of the spine
  • Improves rotation and movement of the shoulders
  • Opens the chest and improves respiration and circulation
  • Stimulates the spinal nerves and balances nervous system

Watch Out For:

  • Toes pointing outward
  • Sinking hips
  • Collapsing wrists, arms and tight shoulders
  • Dizziness or loss of balance


  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Back injuries
  • High blood pressure


  • Enter from mariachi I – seated on the floor, right leg bent. Place left hand a foot behind hip.  Ground left foot, push upwards into back bend and reach right upward
  • Practice bring right hand against wall
  • Practice pressing left foot against wall
  • Place bolster under back


  • In final position extend opposite leg and arm
  • Lower both hands and walk feet forward into wheel
  • Place lifted hand over heart

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Knees-to-chest (Apasana)
  • Happy baby (Balasana)
  • Seated forward bend (Paschimothanasana)

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

Return to Yoga Pose Directory