Chakrasana is an intense backbend asana that is used to train students of Ashtanga Yoga. Also known as the Urdva Dhanurasana pose, it takes its name from the fact that the body is bent like a bow or a wheel while practicing this asana. Other names of this pose include Wheel Pose and Upward Facing Bow Pose. It offers heightened flexibility for the spine when practiced regularly. It is also called back bridge when it is included as a part of a gymnastic or acrobatic routine. Even though it is considered as a beginner’s yoga pose, Chakrasana can be rather difficult to master.
First you need to lie down on the ground with your feet apart.
Now bend the knees and keep your feet placed on the ground very close to the buttocks.
Bring the palms just under shoulders in a way that your fingers remain pointed towards shoulders and your elbows are only placed at a shoulder width apart.
Deeply inhale and put pressure on your palms as they touch the floor.
Slowly and steadily lift the elbow and shoulders from the floor.
Keep your feet firmly pressed on the floor.
Inhale and slowly lift the hips up.
Roll up your spine in a way that it resembles a wheel or some kind of semi circular arch.
Straighten out the legs and arms as much as you can so as to push your chest and hips upwards.
Stay in this pose for about 15 to 30 seconds.
In order to attain your former position, bend the elbows and lower your shoulders and head to the floor.
Bend your knees while bringing the hips and spine back to the surface of the floor.
Finally, lie down and relax for some time.
steps images of chakrasana
These are the main Preparatory Poses that you must practice before doing Chakrasana.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Follow up poses for Chakrasana
The follow up poses that you need to do after Chakrasana are listed below.
Tips for performing Chakrasana
Beginners may find that their knees and feet tend to spread out and apart a lot while they try to lift their bodies while performing Chakrasana. This is going to compress the lower back area. Therefore it is advisable to use a strap for keeping the thighs apart at hip’s width during the course of the asana.
The best time to practice Chakrasana is during early morning hours. However, you can also do it during the evening if you like. Make sure that there is a gap of at least 4 to 6 hours from the time that you had your last meal.
Chakrasana can have a major transforming effect on our spirit, mind and body. Practitioners can experience intense feelings of fearlessness and joy as a result of practicing this asana. This asana can increase the vital force or prana surrounding the heart which can then be transmitted throughout the entire body. This can make you aware of many things that people are not normally alert about. You can also experience a strong sense of courage and fierce confidence which can enable you to face any kind of challenge head on.
This asana can flex the frontal regions of the body which include pats like the intercostal muscles, the shoulders, the hip flexors, the wrists and quadriceps. The asana also strengthens the shoulders, wrists, sacrum area and the arms which offer them greater stability. When performed properly, it can also rotate the arms and thighs as well as stimulate the hamstrings.
Benefits of Chakrasana
Here are some of the most awesome benefits of Chakrasana.
Chakrasana helps to increase the strength and flexibility of the spine. Regularly practicing this asana can lengthen and strengthen the vertebrae. This can enhance spinal elasticity in a major way. The spine actually compress along with increasing age. However, the asana can keep the spine healthy even in later years.
Chakrasana can tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles and help in getting rid of abdominal fat.
The asana can open the chest area and boost lung capacity, which in turn can circulate more oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
It can stretch the hip area and boost hip flexibility.
Chakrasana works effectively to stimulate the functioning of the endocrine and nervous system. The pituitary and thyroid glands are stimulated by this asana and this helps to keep the practitioner happy and healthy. Therefore it can be said that the asana removes stress and provides with positive energy.
It can strengthen muscles of the shoulders, arms and the wrist.
The asana can improve cardiac health by pushing the chest out. This not only boosts physical energy but also ensures emotional stability which can help in fostering harmonious relationships.
The asana can open up the heart center, making people feel relaxed and open up to others. It can also help in developing better emotional connections with others and having a gregarious, generous, extrovert and forgiving temperament.
The asana strengthens the shoulders, legs, buttocks, abdomen, shoulder blades, spine, glutes, lower back, hamstrings, kidneys, arms, pancreas, liver and wrists.
It can heal health problems like asthma, osteoporosis and infertility.
The asana can help in combating depression and melancholy.
Precautions and contraindications associated with Chakrasana
These are the important precautions and contraindications that should be kept in mind while performing this asana.
People having carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis of the wrists must not practice Chakrasana.
In case you feel pains in your lower back area while performing this asana, you must stop doing it immediately.
Do not attempt this asana if you are suffering from neck injury or shoulder impingement.
If you have frequent headaches or suffer from high blood pressure, you should not perform Chakrasana.
Chakrasana is also contraindicated for elbow pains, slip disc, vertigo, diarrhea hernia, low blood pressure and heart problems.
Pregnant women should not perform this asana.
So now that you are well aware of the benefits of Chakrasana, make sure that you practice it on a regular basis.
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