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Wheel pose

The best complete guide to wheel pose in 2022

Wheel pose (Chakrasana)

The Wheel pose comes under the category of advanced Yoga poses and is difficult to perfect without having flexibility and the strength in the body. If you want to make your spine super strong with tremendous other health benefits, then this pose is surely for you.

This pose has tremendous health benefits that include giving super confidence and flexibility in the body. 

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana) meaning

This pose is popularly known as Chakrasana. ‘Chakra’ in the Sanskrit language means ‘wheel’ and in Sanskrit, this asana is known as the ‘Chakrasana’. 

In the English language, this asana is known as the ‘Wheel Pose’. In this pose, the body looks like a wheel thus the name ‘Wheel Pose’. 

This pose is also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana. Urdhva means ‘Upward’ and ‘Dhanur’ means a ‘bow’. In this pose, the body is arched back and whole body weight is supported on the palms and feet.

This asana is considered as a base pose for various variations of the Wheel Pose that can be derived from this pose. It is always advisable to start learning this asana under a properly trained teacher. 

Wheel Pose details 

Sanskrit NameUrdhva Dhanurasana
Other NameChakrasana
English NameWheel Pose
Difficulty LevelAdvanced
TypeBack Bend Pose
Wheel Pose quick details

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana) helps the following muscles:

  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Abs
  • Quadriceps
  • Lower Back
  • Chest
  • Neck

Chakrasana health benefits:

Chakrasana comes under the category of Back Bend poses and is the deepest amongst all other backbend yoga poses.  

This pose also gives a lot of self-confidence to the practitioner because it is a difficult pose to master.

1. This asana tones up and gives maximum stretch to the chest, arms, wrists, legs, shoulders, face, abdominal, neck, thighs, and entire spine.

2. In this pose as the abdominal muscles are stretched to their maximum levels so organs of the abdomen like the pancreas, kidney, and liver are toned.

3. The chest is fully stretched which makes the function of the heart proper and also improves the blood circulation in the heart.

4. The reproductive organs are strengthened and stretched, so the practitioners of this asana are not likely to face issues related to reproduction in their lives. It can even cure cases of infertility. 

5. In this pose the Pituitary glands and Thyroid are also stimulated, which makes their functioning proper.         

6. The digestion issues are solved and it gets better day by day with regular practice.

7. Helpful in addressing menstrual cramps

8. Helpful to people with issues of Back Pain, Stress, Migraines, and Asthma.

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana) Contraindications 

As Wheel Pose is an advanced Yoga pose so the student who wants to learn it and the teacher must take into account the physical fitness of the student before attempting this pose.

1. People with a history of High Blood pressure or Low Blood pressure can avoid this Pose. If they still want to try this asana then a lot more care and proper guidance are needed. They can start with other easier backbend poses and ‘Ardh Chakrasana’ before going for this advanced pose.

2. If you feel pressure, pain, or blood in the eyes while attempting this asana then it is advisable to immediately discontinue the practice of this asana. 

3. People with severe Back injuries can avoid this asana, as this pose is very difficult to master and any jerk during the practice can further do damage and aggravate the problem.

4. If the student is suffering from any cervical injury then also this asana should be avoided. Although in cases of a weak or stiff neck this asana can help in opening it up, in that case, it should be done under proper guidance. 

5. Those who are suffering from Hernia should also avoid this asana as the stretch of stomach muscles can aggravate the problem. 

6. New practitioners who have not mastered the other easier poses should avoid this pose till they can easily do other backbend poses. They should also make sure that their body has attained enough flexibility before they attempt this Pose. 

Apart from the above-mentioned contraindications if during the practice the person feels any kind of discomfort or pain then also the person should discontinue this asana. 

How to do wheel pose in yoga 

Chakrasana for beginners

1. Lie down flat on your Yoga mat.

2. Now bend your elbows and raise them over your head. Now place your palms under your shoulders. Make sure that the distance between your palms should not be wider than your shoulders and your fingers should point towards your feet.

3. Now bend and raise your knees, now bring your feet nearer till they touch your hips.

4. Now breathe out and raise your trunk and rest your crown of the head on the yoga mat, now take a few breaths. 

5. Now again breathe out and lift your trunk and head off the floor and arch your back so that your body weight comes on your palms and your feet.

6. Now stretch your arms from your shoulders till your elbows are straight along with pulling your thigh muscles up. 

7. To get a better stretch breath out and pull your thigh muscles higher. 

8. Now stretch up your chest and sacral area of the spine as much as you can and then lower your heels to the floor. Meanwhile, you have to maintain the stretch of your chest, spine, and thigh muscles. 

9. You can remain in this position from 30 seconds to a minute with normal breathing 

10. When you come out of this pose breathe out, bend your knees and elbows and lower your body on the floor.

Steps for intermediate practitioners

1. You have to stand erect keeping your feet one foot apart and your palms on the hips.

2. Now push your pelvic region slightly forward, breathe out and bend your trunk back so that the weight of the body comes on your thighs and toes. 

3. Now raise your arms above your head and move your hands to the floor. Now straighten your arms at the elbows and rest your palms on the floor. If your elbows are not stretched immediately you can bang your head on the floor. 

4. If you manage to secure the above-mentioned position stretch your arms and legs straight. 

5. It is always advisable that while learning this pose to take the help of a friend or a wall. 

Wheel Pose variations

Ardh Urdhva Dhanurasana
Ardh Urdhva Dhanurasana

Half Wheel Pose yoga (Ardh Urdhva Dhanurasana)

1. Lie down flat on your yoga mat with your arms by your sides and palms facing down. Now bend your knees and bring back your feet closer to your hips. Your feet should be about feet apart. 

2. Now bend your elbows and raise them over your head. Now place your palms under your shoulders. Make sure that the distance between your palms should not be wider than your shoulders and your fingers should point towards your feet.

3. Now breathe out and raise your trunk and rest your crown of the head on the yoga mat and take a few normal breaths. 

4. You can hold this position for a few seconds to half a minute.

5. To come out of the pose lower your trunk back to the Yoga mat and slowly release your palms back to start position. 

Chakrasana with one leg up

Chakrasana with one leg up is also known as ‘One legged Wheel Pose’ and in the Sanskrit language ‘Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana’.

Where ‘Eka’ means ‘one’ and ‘Pada’ means ‘leg’. ‘Urdhva’ means ‘Upward’ and ‘Dhanu’ means ‘bow’.

Chakrasna with one leg up

Steps for doing Chakrasana with one leg up (One Legged Wheel Pose)

1. After performing a full Wheel Pose, breathe out and raise your right leg off the floor.

2. Now stretch your right leg straight in the air and keep it at about 45 degrees from the floor. 

3. Now raise your right hand from the floor and place it on your right thigh. Now your body will have to be balanced on your left hand and left foot. You can hold this position for about 15 seconds with normal breathing. 

4. Now breathe out and lower your raised right leg and hand and come back to the full Wheel Pose.

5. Now repeat the asana by lifting your left leg and placing your left hand on your left thigh thereby balancing your body on your right hand and right feet. Maintain the asana again for about 15 seconds.

Apart from all the benefits of Chakrasana, this asana develops the confidence of balance and grace for the practitioner.      

Vaprit Chakrasana in Urdhva Dhanurasana Reverse Wheel Pose

From full Wheel Pose, you can also do reverse Wheel Pose. The reverse Wheel Pose is difficult to perform and most people can only do it with the help of a competent teacher.

This pose is for the advanced practitioners.

1. Stand erect on your Yoga mat. Now bend forward and place your palms on the floor. Now raise your legs in the air and stand on your hands. 

2. Now bend your knees and arch your back, now drop your legs behind your head. 

3. When your legs are coming down behind your head contact your hips. Now extend your back up, straighten your elbows and arms. 

Wheel Pose modifications

How to do Wheel Pose against Wall

1. Stand three feet away from a wall keeping your back towards the wall. Now bend your back and move your head towards the wall.

2. Now raise your arms over your head and rest your palms on the wall. 

3. Now push your pelvis region forward so that your body weight comes on the thighs and move your palms down the wall till you touch the floor. 

4. You can also use the wall for coming up back to the normal position. 

5. After mastering this wall method you can learn to do the pose in the middle of the room.

How to do the Wheel Pose with the Yoga Ball

1. First make sure that the floor or surface where the Yoga Ball is placed, is not slippery so that the ball remains in its place and does not slip away when you will be doing Wheel Pose with a ball.

2. Sit on the Yoga ball with your back towards the ball and straighten your arms. Now position the back of your arms against the Ball and breathe in.

3. Now start rolling your torso against the Yoga ball and keep rolling till your hands touch the floor behind.

4. You can hold this pose for a few minutes with normal breathing.

5. To come out of this pose, breathe out and slowly start rolling down till you are back to the sitting position with your back against the Yoga ball.  

Conclusion:

This pose can give lots of confidence to the practitioner as it is one of the most difficult yoga poses. After mastering the basic pose, person can also learn to do various variations of this pose. Those who are new to Yoga practice must start with Ardh Chakrasana before they go for full Chakrasana.  

Frequently asked questions:

Q1. What is Chakrasana Yoga?

Ans: Chakrasana Yoga is one of the advanced yoga asanas from Hatha Yoga. As in this pose, the body posture looks like that of a ‘chakra’, which means a ‘wheel’ in the Sanskrit language, thus this name Chakrasana. This asana is also known as the ‘Wheel Pose’ in English and is also known by another name of ‘Urdhva Dhanurasana,’ where Urdhva means ‘Upward’ and ‘Dhanu’ means a ‘bow’. 

Q2. Is Chakrasana good for back pain?

Ans: If you are already suffering from back pain then you have to be very careful while practicing this asana because any jerk can further increase the back pain. It will be good for you to start with other backbend poses and Ardh Chakrasana before going for full Chakrasana. If you can perform Ardh Chakrasna and other backbend poses comfortably only then you should attempt full Chakasana under the guidance of an expert teacher.

Q3. Does Chakrasana increase height?

Ans: Chakrasana is an advanced backbend pose where the whole of the chest area, stomach, and entire spine is stretched fully. This asana is also helpful in the proper secretion of essential hormones in the body. It will definitely help in increasing height if one regularly practices this asana. 
 

Q4. Does Chakrasana reduce belly fat?

Ans: Chakrasana will surely help in reducing belly fat because in this asana the chest, stomach, and spine are fully stretched which helps in the proper working of all organs. This asana also addresses all digestion-related issues that will help reduce belly fat. Apart from that, it is nearly impossible to find a regular practitioner of Chakrasana with excess belly fat.     

Q5. How long to do Chakrasana?

Ans: You can perform Chakrasana for a few seconds in the beginning to about half a minute. 
 

Share your experience of performing Wheel Pose (Chakrasana) and if you have any questions regarding Chakrasana you can ask in the comment section below.

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