This pose is also good for building your body’s resistance to asthma as it stretches your thorax & elongates the rib cage creating space around the lungs, heart & abdomen.
Chakrasana, or the “Wheel Pose” is also known as the Urdhva Dhanurasana, which translates as “Reverse Bow Pose.” In this pose your body takes a sharp bend, like an inverted “U,” which in your later years will help prevent bone-related ailments like osteoporosis.
Starting this pose at a relatively young age when your body is still naturally supple has many benefits for you as you grow older.
How to Do the Chakrasana Pose
Lie down on the floor with your face up. Inhale and exhale normally. Bend your legs from your knees and place your soles flat on the carpet. To help you to maintain your balance, keep a distance equal to the width of your hip between your legs.
Take your arms near your legs and hold your ankles firmly with your palms. Start lifting your back upwards after a vigorous exhalation.
To help you to lift your back, stiffen the muscles of your legs and press your soles down to facilitate the upward movement of your back.
Keep your upraised thighs aligned horizontally, so that they support you to lift your back. If you do not do this your body could sag at your hip and you could even slip back to the mat. You could even suffer a nasty sprain at your neck and spine.
At this posture, your hips and thighs are at the topmost portion of your body but your back is tilted, while your shoulders still rest on the ground.
Pause for some time and then release your ankles that you have been holding. Bring your arms near your head and bend them from the elbows. Place your palms flat down on the carpet with your finger tips near your ears and pointing at your feet.
Lift your shoulders up by pushing your palms against the floor. You will find that lifting your shoulders upwards is relatively easier when you stiffen your leg muscles. Your head will sag between your arms as your shoulders rise.
Support your head by gently stiffening your neck muscles. Your torso is now fully arched with your hip at the highest point. Raise your arms and legs fully to lift your back further up. Now your torso rests on the full length of your arms and legs. Pause at this stage before you lower your torso and come out of this pose.
How to Come Out of the Chakrasana Pose
Ease your limbs and gradually loosen your elbows armpits, hip, ankles and knees. Do this part gradually, without jerky movements, otherwise you could sprain your neck or spine.
When you lower your back, take care to slide your head parallel back in a horizontal position on the carpet. Now with your head and back again on the mat, your arms and legs are bent sharply at your elbows and knees once again.
Straighten your limbs and place your arms and legs on the carpet as they originally were. With this you have completed one cycle of the Chakrasana. You may repeat this cycle as long you are comfortable.
Benefits of the Chakrasana Pose
This pose stretches your throat and thorax and opens your larynx. This nourishes the thyroid and pituitary gland. Your back, hip and limbs become flexible due to the severe concave bend of the pose.
This also builds your body’s resistance against sciatica, slipped disc and other hip and back ailments and also against bone related disorders like osteoporosis.
This pose is good for building your body’s resistance against asthma as it stretches your thorax and elongates the rib cage, creating space around the lungs heart and abdomen.
A Note of Caution
Expectant mothers, patients with hip and back ailments, vertigo, high blood pressure, should not do this exercise. Do not do this exercise without consulting your doctor and yoga therapist.