Benefits of Chakrasana or Yoga wheel Pose
May 22, 2009
The Chakrasana or yoga wheel pose takes its name because of the posture of the body in this pose, which resembles the shape of a circle, or rather a semi-circle. This yoga posture is very similar to a popular exercise known as the gymnastic back-bend. The yoga pose differs from this practice in one aspect. While in a gymnastic back bend the practitioner is in the standing position, and keeps bending backwards until the palms come to rest on the floor, in the wheel pose the practitioner is a sleeping position and gradually raises the body up. The ardha chakrasana or half wheel pose and the kati chakrasana or waist rotating pose are very similar and in a sense modifications of this pose.
Here’s how you perform a chakrasan or wheel pose.
- Assume a sleeping posture on your yoga mat (on your back), and bend your knees, drawing them closer towards the hips. Your heels should make contact with the buttocks, while feet are planted firmly on the floor below.
- In the same way, bend your elbows, drawing your hands inwards so that your fingers touch the shoulders. Allow the palms to face inwards, and like the feet they should rest firmly on the floor.
- Inhale deeply, and using the strength of your limbs thrust your body upwards so that your body is completely raised in an inverted U. You will feel a rush of blood to the head as the lungs expand to fill with air.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds and exhale deeply as you gently lower yourself to the floor.
The wheel pose or chakrasana offers a variety of benefits, both physical and mental.
- The more obvious physical benefits are those that derive from the stretching action. It stretches the lungs and chest, while strengthening the muscles of the buttocks, legs, calves, wrists, arms, and spine.
- It also strengthens and tones the muscles of the abdominal region and helps regulate the digestive function.
- It acts as a natural stimulant for the thyroid and pituitary glands.
- It helps re-energize you and is invigorating, and stimulating. It helps counteract depression.
- This pose has therapeutic value and is recommended for back pain, infertility, asthma, and osteoporosis.
Do not attempt to perform the wheel pose if you suffer from spinal injuries or cardiac disease, or hernia. It should never be attempted unsupervised, particularly if you are not very experienced in the discipline.