The name Wheel Pose is the English translation of the Sanskrit word “Chakra-asana” here chakra means a wheel. It is called Wheel Pose since the body takes almost a wheel-like posture while performing this asana.
Wheel pose belongs to the backward bending yoga asana series and is one of the most challenging backbends as it is also a semi-inversion where the head is below the level of the heart, making it difficult to coordinate the body in the upside-down position of the head.
The posture requires good upper body strength and flexibility to get into the final position. Practicing this posture opens up the chest, hips, and shoulders in a way that counteracts the modern-day sitting posture. The wheel pose is said to be energizing and can lift up the mood instantly.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to practice Chakrasana if you are a complete beginner!
Chakrasana or wheel pose is a posture where we lie down on the back. Keep the palms like this; next to the face. Elbows are not opening wide and balancing only on the feet and the palms, and we get to lift the entire body, where you create a half wheel, it looks like when you see me on the floor.
Now, in this posture as I said, we need to balance on the palms and the feet, avoid if you have any severe wrist conditions or any heart problems, headaches, or blood pressure issues, then avoid it. I will also show you another modification you can practice instead. Let's get started!
Lie down on your back. If you have any severe back issues, you can also avoid and do the variation. Now keep your feet apart hip-width, toes slightly pointing in, heels are not completely closed like this-not too far, keep it at a comfortable distance where you can just extend your hands and touch your heels. Now, extend your hands to the ceiling, bend your elbows, and see that as you bend your elbows- your palms start to face the mat, so sometimes we tend to get confused by placing like this, make sure your palms are facing down while your fingers are pointing your heels. Once you're here, next to the face, we are going to use the breath; inhale and exhale, hold the breath, that means tightening the abdomen and lift your hip up, shoulders come on the top of the head first, once you get comfortable, we're going to lift the entire body, except the palms in the feet once you're ready; Inhale, exhale lift your hip up, shoulders, the crown of the head down.
Get comfortable, your body weight is not on the head much. Now press your palms, inhale, and lift up.
Work on transferring the body weight to the palms, not just on the feet, start to slowly press your feet firm, and move the bodyweight forward and chin away from the chest.
Stay here for five breaths. And then again, the crown of the head down, chin to the chest, shoulders down, hip down.
Now, let's look at one modification. If you can't lift the upper body completely off the ground, you have an option of palms next to the face, just get your crown of the head on the mat and stay there like this.
As you get comfortable you can start working on reducing the weight on the head and more on the palms and then you can come down. Chin to the chest, release your hip down, those who are with the conditions; wrist, heart, headache, any migraine issues, you can simply practice bridge pose, keeping your hands by the side of the body, inhale; lift your hips up first and interlock fingers, press your palms together nicely, press your hands on the floor, inhale; lift your hip up look at the navel area. Stay here for a few breaths and release, exhale.
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