if you are a yoga lover, you must have stumbled upon a lot of chakrasana images online. chakrasana, also known as the wheel pose, is a popular yoga asana that provides numerous benefits to the body and mind. considered to be a very heart-opening stretch, this pose aids in releasing sadness and depression.
wheel pose or urdhva dhanurasana, also called upward bow pose or full-wheel pose opens up your chest, and tones your thighs, abdomen as well as arms, while engaging your whole body. chakrasana yoga gets its name from two sanskrit words, ‘chakra’, meaning wheel, and ‘asana’, meaning posture. let’s read more about it to find out its countless benefits, the do’s and don’ts, and so on.
what is chakrasana?
the yoga wheel pose or chakrasana is one of the most beneficial yoga postures and it involves bending your body into a backbend shape with your arms and legs supporting your weight. this posture is excellent for improving flexibility, strength, and balance. if you love practising new yoga postures and have not tried this one yet, you should definitely give chakrasana a shot and see it doing wonders to your mind, body and health.
who can do chakrasana yoga?
the level of difficulty for chakrasana varies depending on the practitioner's level of experience and physical abilities. these are some of the people who are perfect for practising chakrasana regularly:
people with strong and flexible spineschakrasana yoga requires a high degree of spinal flexibility and strength. therefore, people with strong and flexible spines are best suited for this posture. if you are new to yoga or have not practised backbends before, it is best to start with milder postures that prepare your spine for the more advanced ones like chakrasana.
intermediate and advanced yogis
as chakrasana yoga is an advanced yoga posture that requires a high level of physical fitness and yoga experience, intermediate and advanced yogis can perform it well. they have a solid foundation in basic yoga postures and have developed the necessary strength and flexibility to perform this pose.
chakrasana yoga is an excellent posture for athletes and gym-goers looking to improve their flexibility, strength, and balance. this posture engages your core, arms, and legs, making it an effective full-body workout. additionally, it improves your posture, strengthens your spine, and reduces the risk of injury in other physical activities.
if you have a sedentary lifestyle and spend a lot of time sitting or standing, chakrasana yoga can help you counteract the negative effects of your lifestyle. this posture stretches your spine, chest, and shoulders, relieving tension and reducing pain caused by poor posture. it also improves your breathing and energizes your body, making you feel more alert and focused.
chakrasana yoga is a great stress reliever and mood booster. this posture stimulates your nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. additionally, it strengthens your core and improves your balance, giving you a sense of stability and grounding.
if you are new to yoga or have any health conditions, it is best to consult a qualified yoga teacher before attempting this posture to ensure that you do it safely and correctly.
who should avoid chakrasana yoga?
while chakrasana can be a very advantageous pose, there are some limitations and complications that one must keep in mind. it is important to listen to your body and only attempt the pose when you feel ready and under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor. here are some conditions in which you must avoid ardh chakra asana or chakrasana:
people with spinal injuries
chakrasana yoga may not be suitable for people with spinal injuries. this posture puts a significant amount of pressure on your spine, which could worsen your injury. even if you have a minor spinal injury, it is best to avoid this pose until your injury has fully healed.
people with chronic back pain
if you have chronic back pain, you should avoid chakrasana yoga. this posture requires a high degree of spinal flexibility, and if you have back pain, you may not have the required range of motion to perform this pose safely. attempting this posture could cause further damage to your back.
pregnant women should avoid this yoga posture as it requires a high degree of abdominal and pelvic strength, which may not be possible during pregnancy. additionally, this pose could cause undue pressure on the uterus and harm the growing fetus.
people with high blood pressure
if you have high blood pressure, you should not practise this posture. it demands a lot of physical effort and can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. this increase in blood pressure could be dangerous if you already have high blood pressure.
people with glaucoma
if you have glaucoma, you too should avoid chakrasana yoga. this posture increases the pressure in your eyes, which could be harmful if you already have glaucoma. additionally, people with other eye conditions should consult their doctor before attempting this posture.
chakrasana yoga is an excellent posture but is not suitable for everyone. if you are unsure whether chakrasana or purna chakrasana yoga is safe for you, consult your doctor or a qualified yoga teacher before attempting it.
chakrasana procedure step by step
before attempting chakra asana, it is recommended to warm up your body with some basic stretches and a few rounds of sun salutation. if you are wondering how to do chakrasana steps, we have got you covered. here are the steps to perform chakrasana:
- step 1: lie flat on your back with your arms stretched out beside your body and your palms facing down.
- step 2: bend your knees and place your feet hip-distance apart on the floor, with your heels close to your buttocks.
- step 3: place your palms on the floor beside your ears, with your fingers pointing towards your shoulders.
- step 4: press your palms and feet firmly into the floor, and lift your hips and torso up towards the ceiling.
- step 5: straighten your arms and legs as much as possible, and shift your weight onto your hands and feet.
- step 6: hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, and then slowly lower your body back to the floor.
chakrasana can be an energizing and invigorating posture that provides a deep stretch to the entire body. advanced practitioners may also explore variations of chakrasana, such as one-legged variations or transitioning into other postures from chakrasana.
what are the wheel pose benefits?
from promoting relaxation and a sense of calm to aiding in digestion, chakrasana comes with a plethora of health benefits. it is also an effective stress-relieving pose, as it helps to release tension and tightness in the body,. let’s look at some of its key benefits in detail:
- strengthens the spine: chakrasana is a backbend pose that helps to stretch and strengthen the spine, improving spinal flexibility and mobility.
- stimulates the nervous system: it stimulates the nervous system, improving circulation and blood flow to the brain, and enhancing mental clarity and focus.
- relieves stress and anxiety: it helps to release tension and stress from the body, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
- improves digestion: chakrasana stimulates the digestive system, helping to improve digestion and alleviate digestive disorders.
- boosts energy and stamina: chakrasana helps to improve the flow of prana or life force energy in the body, increasing energy levels, and stamina.
incorporating chakrasana into your yoga practice can provide numerous benefits to your physical and mental health. with practice and patience, you can improve your flexibility, strength, and overall well-being with this powerful yoga asana.
different names of chakrasana
chakrasana is all the rage among yoga practitioners across the globe and for all the right reasons. different languages and cultures have different names for this yoga posture. some of the most popular ones are:
- in hindi, chakrasana is commonly known as ‘chakki chalanasana’, which means "moving the grinding wheel pose." this name is inspired by the traditional practice of using a grinding stone, called a chakki, to grind grains into flour. the circular motion of the body in this pose is said to resemble the motion of the grinding stone.
- in english, the pose is typically referred to as the wheel pose, reflecting the shape that the body makes in the posture. however, it is also sometimes known as the upward bow pose, which describes the shape of the body in the opposite direction.
- in chinese, the pose is known as 轮式 (lún shì), which translates to "wheel posture." in japanese, it is called 車のポーズ (kuruma no pōzu), which means "car pose," reflecting the circular shape of the body in the posture.
- in tibetan buddhism, chakrasana is known as karmapasana, after the karmapa lineage of lamas who practice and teach this pose. it is considered an important posture for purifying the subtle energy channels and awakening one’s inner wisdom.
it goes without saying that chakrasana is a pose that goes by many names, each reflecting the unique cultural and linguistic perspectives of the communities in which it is practised.
level of difficulty
for beginners, the most challenging aspect of chakrasana is often the strength and flexibility required to lift the hips off the ground and press up into the backbend. this requires a strong core, back, and arm muscles, as well as a flexible spine and shoulders. additionally, chakrasana can be challenging for those who have tight hip flexors or a weak lower back. these individuals may find it difficult to lift their hips off the ground or may experience discomfort in the lower back during the posture.
as practitioners become more experienced and develop greater strength and flexibility, chakrasana becomes less challenging. with consistent practice, the posture can become more fluid and graceful, allowing the practitioner to deepen the backbend and hold the posture for longer periods of time.
overall, the level of difficulty for chakrasana depends on the practitioner's level of experience and physical abilities. with consistent practice and a willingness to work on building strength and flexibility, chakrasana can become an accessible and rewarding posture for practitioners of all levels.
easy modification for beginners
while chakrasana can be a challenging pose for beginners, there are modifications that can be made to make it more accessible. here are some easy modifications for beginners to try:
- use a block: place a yoga block at the base of your feet before you begin the pose. this will elevate your hands and make it easier to reach the floor with your hands.
- bend your knees: instead of keeping your legs straight, try bending your knees slightly. this will reduce the strain on your lower back and make it easier to lift your hips.
- use a wall: stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall, shoulder-width apart. walk your feet back until your body forms a straight line. this modification will help you to build strength and confidence in the pose.
- practice bridge pose: bridge pose is a great preparatory pose for chakrasana. lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. lift your hips up toward the ceiling, interlace your fingers under your back, and roll your shoulders underneath you. hold for several breaths before releasing.
- use a chair: place a chair in front of you and hold onto the back of the chair as you lift your body into chakrasana. this modification will provide support and stability as you work on building strength and flexibility.
- try half wheel pose: half wheel pose, also known as ardha chakrasana, is a variation of chakrasana that is less intense. begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. place your hands on the floor beside your ears, fingers pointing toward your shoulders. press into your hands and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, lifting your hips up as far as you can comfortably go.
if you are just starting out with chakra asana, it is always advisable to wear clothes that are comfortable and fit you well. invest in a good sports bra for more flexibility and ease of movement. one of the best brands to buy gym wear from is aastey. it has a wide range of leggings, bras, yoga mats, and so on made of sustainable raw materials and high-quality fabrics. the sports bras are moisture-wicking and breathable, keeping your skin soft and dry even after hours of working out. you must definitely check out the brand and you are not going to regret it for sure.
by following the correct steps and precautions and wearing the right clothes, you can practice chakrasana safely and effectively. incorporating chakrasana into your yoga practice can help you improve spinal flexibility, boost energy levels, and promote mental clarity and relaxation. remember to always listen to your body and modify the pose as needed. with practice and patience, you will gradually build strength and flexibility, and be able to move deeper into the full expression of chakrasana.