Chakrasana – The Wheel Pose

Chakrasana or the wheel pose is a backward bending yoga asana. Chakra in sanskrit means Wheel and Asana means a pose. In Chakrasana, the final position looks like a wheel, hence the name. Chakrasana gives great flexibility to the spine.

How to do Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)?

  1. Lie down on your back with hands on the side.
  2. Bend your knees and bring your heels as close to the buttocks as possible. The heels should be about 1 foot apart.
  3. Now raise your hands and bring it back next to the ears. Place the palms on the floor with the fingers pointing towards the shoulders.
  4. Lift your body up with the support of the palms and the feet.
  5. Rotate the head slightly, so that your gaze is towards the floor.
  6. Stretch your thighs and shoulders. In the final position your body looks like an arch, almost like a wheel.
  7. Maintain this position, according to your capacity.
  8. To release the position, lower your body till it touches the ground. Straighten your legs. Hands can go back to the original position to the sides.
  9. Chakrasana should be followed by forward bending poses to counteract the pressure created by the back bend.
  10. Chakrasana should be avoided by those suffering from cardiac ailments, high blood pressure, vertigo and those who have undergone recent surgeries.

Benefits of Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

  1. Chakrasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
  2. It tones the organs in the abdomen including the digestive, excretory and reproductive organs.
  3. Chakrasana strengthens arms, shoulders, wrists, abdomen and spine.
  4. It expands the chest and lungs.
  5. It stimulates the thyroid gland.
  6. Chakrasana is excellent for those suffering from back pain.
  7. It tones the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Ardha Chakrasana or Half Wheel Pose

Ardha Chakrasana is easier to perform than the full wheel pose. Those who suffer from back problems should attempt this first before going on to the more difficult full wheel pose.

Steps to perform Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose)

  1. Stand straight and bring your hands together in a clasped position.
  2. Raise and rotate your hands above the shoulders.
  3. Slowly bend the upper part of your body along with the hands, as far as you can go.
  4. Remain in this position for few seconds to a minute, according to your capacity.
  5. To release the pose, bring back slowly to the standing position with hands on your side.
  6. There is a variation of ardha chakrasana, where the hands are placed behind the hips and then the back bending is attempted.

Benefits of Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose)

  1. Ardha Chakrasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
  2. It tones the organs in the abdomen including the digestive, excretory and reproductive organs.
  3. Ardha Chakrasana gives a good shape to the body. It is good for those who have back problems and postural defects.