Build Up to Wheel Pose (or Chakrasana)

4 min read

Earlier this year, one of my students came to me with two goal asanas: Crow ( Bakasana ) and Wheel (Chakrasana). Last month, she successfully held Bakasana, and we are on our way to building up to Chakrasana.

This article is dedicated to her, and I hope it inspires other yogis who are afraid of Chakrasana to add it to their list of goals!

On Wheel Pose with Chakras

Wheel Pose, or Chakrasana, is based on the Sanskrit term chakra, which can be translated as “wheel,” “circle,” and “cycle.” The root Sanskrit cak means “to move,” such that a wheel moves the energy in a cycle.

The subtle body is made up of energy points called chakras. The chakras are subtle energy channels that carry life force, or vital energy (prana), through them. Chakrasana has been known to boost energy, stretch upper and lower back muscles, and extend the front body.

To keep your body and the spinal nerves safe, you must build up slowly.

Benefits of Chakrasana or Wheel Pose

Chakrasana is a great way to stretch and use almost all of your major muscles. It is a great heart opener that strengthens the heart.

It increases energy and reduces depression symptoms. It also helps to balance the nervous system and body and develops a feeling of self-awareness.

Preparation Pose: Strengthening and Stretching

Bridge Pose- Strengthens leg and back muscles and acts as an inversion to stretch tight chest and torso muscles.

Bow Pose- Strengthens the core muscles and arms, increases the flexibility of the spine, and opens up the chest and shoulders.

Extended puppy pose stretches the spine and upper back muscles, as well as the shoulders.

Camel Pose- Strengthens chest, legs, and back muscles, stretches tight hip flexors, and increases flexibility in the shoulders and lower spine

Upward-Facing Dog Pose — strengthens arm muscles, opens chest and core.

Cow face Pose Stretches the chest and armpits

Dolphin Pose: Strengthens arms, legs, and core muscles and stretches neck muscles

King Pigeon pose – strengthens core muscles, stretches the front side of the body, and stretches leg muscles

Building up Activities

Wall walks – with the backs facing the wall, slowly move the feet away while the arms walk along the wall. Then, walk the arms up the wall again as the feet return to the wall.

Camel Pose Against the Wall – Use the wall to lower the head, neck, and spine slowly to the floor. Then, use the belly button to lift the spine slowly.

Mini Chakrasana Pushups- Start in bridge position with hands at the ears and elbows in Chaturanga. Slowly micro-lift your head off the mat.

Squeeze A Block – place a small block between your feet to prevent them from turning and lift into Bridge Pose. Or put a smaller block between your thighs to remind you to engage the legs when lifting into Chakrasana.

How to Do It

Place the fingers facing the feet. Slowly press your weight into your hands and feet while squeezing elbows together like in Chaturanga. Lift the chest into Chakrasana.

To get out of this pose, tuck your chin into your chest and slowly roll one vertebrae down at a time.

Advanced Yogi Tips

As Chakrasana becomes easier, you can lift the leg and bring the feet and hands closer together. Working towards a possible back walkover. With equal weight on the hands, send the heart between the arms and lift the belly button.

Send each foot in a wheel-shaped motion toward the sky, allowing the feet to land by the ankles and in a forward fold. In the final Chakrasana variation, wrap your hands around your ankles and walk together with both hands and feet.

“The heart is a garden.” It can grow fear or compassion, resentment, and love. What seeds will be planted there?” – Buddha

This pose is extremely powerful and can be vulnerable. You can build it up slowly and then come out whenever you want! Please share any tips you have about how to progress into Chakrasana.

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