There are various ways in which people go to chakrasana or wheel pose. Irrespective of the method, the final pose has tremendous benefits accounting to both strength and flexibility.
Let us see, step by step, how to perform this tremendously beneficial pose:
1) You need to do proper warm up before going into this pose. For this, you can perform a few suryanamaskaras (sun salutations) as well.
2) Also, it is better to make sure that you are good with a few poses before attempting this pose. These include:
a) Bhujangasana (or) Cobra Pose
b) Ustrasana (or) Camel Pose
c) Setubandhasana (or) Bridge Pose
d) Dhanurasana (or) Bow Pose
3) Now, lie down on your mat, calm yourself down and start strong. Start by bending both your knees, with feet as near to the hips as possible.
4) Place your palms beside and close to your ears, with fingers of your palm spread widely for more support. Your fingers should be facing inward, with your elbows pointing to the ceiling.
5) Now, engage your core, inhale and push your glutes up, like how you do it in a glute bridge. Try to stay here for few seconds and make yourself comfortable.
6) Then, slowly push your upper body upwards using your core and place your top of head on the mat. If this seems challenging for you, there is no rush. You can practice this posture for few weeks until you are fine with it.
7) Now, using your arm strength, press your palms into the floor and push your spine up while straightening your arms. In this posture, you need to feel the stretch in your core as well as your spine, and let it stretch without any tension around.
8) From here, if comfortable, slowly raise your heels off the mat, make yourself comfortable here and try to hold the pose.
There you go! You have done the wheel pose. For a video instruction, please check Fit Bits YouTube video below:
Now, coming back from wheel pose is also a challenge for many. This is the time when injuries might happen if you release the pose quickly (or) in a wrong way! Let us see the steps to release the pose:
1) To come back, bring down your heels first.
2) Then, gently drop your head and place your glutes & hands down by lowering your spine.
3) Finally, extend your legs & relax.
4) After releasing the pose, it is suggested to do spine & glute relaxing poses like pavanamuktasana.
Doing a wheel pose is not suggested for people who have:
1) Weak wrists
2) Discomfort in your spine
3) Pregnancy (or) Postpartum
4) High Blood Pressure
5) Cardiac issues
Now, let us look at the benefits of wheel pose:
1) Improves your arm strength including your wrists.
2) Stretches your abdomen at the same time your spine is both lengthened and strengthened.
3) Improves your lower body strength & stretches your gluteal muscles too.
4) Relieves any digestive discomforts you have.
5) Increases blood circulation to the whole body.
6) Opens up lungs & ensures good functioning of respiratory organs.
7) Highly beneficial to pituitary & thyroid glands.
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