Wheel Pose - Urdhva Dhanurasana/Chakra-asana
The word Urdhva-Dhanurasana which means "raised bow", and the term Chakra Asana which comes from the root "to move" both describe the Wheel posture. This pose is quite energizing and is the advanced version of Bridge Pose. You can perform the posture in the morning or day time. It has positive physical and mental effects when practiced regularly and is a great tonic for the body.
Benefits of Wheel Pose
Wheel Pose is a backbend that benefits the spine. It strengthens and lengthens every vertebrae, therefore increasing elasticity and flexibility of the spine. As you hold yourself up in the pose, you are strengthening your arms, shoulders and chest as well as stimulating the entire cardiovascular system.
This pose opens up the chest area, strengthening the lungs and allowing more oxygen to enter the rib cage. It improves the respiratory system and great for those with asthma or any other breathing problems. It's important to breath deeply in the pose with both nostrils.
If you suffer from any digestive disorders, then the wheel pose can help. It also enhances the nervous system and improves secretions of the hormones keeping you balanced and healthy.
As you stretch in wheel pose, you remove fat build up from your oblique area and reduce stiff hips, improving hip flexibility.
For safety purposes you should practice this pose over a thick mat or blanket to protect your head and neck. It should not be practiced if you have weak wrists or pregnant. It's good to hold the pose for one to three minutes, gradually increasing the time with practice.
Steps for Wheel Pose
- Lie down on the floor with hands near your ears, keeping your elbows in the air.
- Bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.
- As you press the hands on the floor, lift your chest, torso and hips up into the air.
- Straighten your arms and hold yourself up using your arms, back and legs.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can.
- To come down, look toward your navel and slowly lower your body to the floor and rest.
- Optional, you can bring your knees into the chest.
See more Yoga Poses