An advanced pose for ultimate spinal health and flexibility
The Chakrasana is one of the most important Yoga Asana which you will learn while you join yoga teacher training. The name chakrasana comes from the Sanskrit word chakra- meaning wheel. You must have heard about the seven chakras or seven energy centres inside the body that resemble wheels of circulating energy.
Many of you might have tried to do Chakrasana before. However the right technique, adjustment and preparation are very important to receive the maximum benefit.
Note: If practised wrong and without warm-up, you can seriously injure your spine. So make sure to include some preparatory poses such as Cat, Cow and Fish Pose. It is recommended to always practise 10 minutes of basic Pawanmuktasana warm-up prior to attempting this pose.
Here is the Step by Step Instructions
First of all, you should warm up your body. Ideally, you can do the basic Pawanmuktasana series including joint rotations followed by a few rounds of Surya Namaskar. Another great preparation is to do Cat and Cow Pose to warm up the spine.
Lay on your mat in Shavasana and close your feet and legs together. Now place your hands next to your ears. Your fingers should point towards your shoulder. Bend your knees and place your heels close to your buttocks.
Make sure that your feet, hands, palms and fingers are placed properly onto the ground.
Now lift up your buttocks, back and shoulders and straighten your arms and legs. Your spine should be completely curved backwards now. Look at the point between your hands.
Hold the final position for 20 to 30 seconds.
Slowly release your buttocks, head and back down again. Try to adjust your spine and normalize your breath. After a few breaths, you can grab your knees and roll yourself forth and back to massage and counter-pose your spine.
Caution: If you don’t feel flexible in your spine you can support your back with one or two bolsters and go as far as you can. If that is not enough yet, Fish Pose is also a great way to gently increase flexibility in the spine.
For advanced yogis: in the final pose, try to walk your feet closer towards your hands. Keep your knees on the hip level and heels on the mat.
What are the Benefits of Wheel Pose / Chakrasana?
Chakrasana increases the strength of your spine and abdominal muscles. It tones your internal organs (liver, pancreas, kidneys) and balances the digestive and reproductive systems.
The wheel pose helps to expand the chest and lungs. Through holding the pose, your thyroid glands are being stimulated.
It can also be a great source of releasing back pain.
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