Chakarasana (Wheel Pose)
Another popular name for Chakarasana is Urdva Dhanurasana where Urdva means Upward, Dhanur means Bow and Asana mean Pose. This yoga pose is performed with back bending and it is considered as one of the most popular parts of Astanga Yoga series. This asana is also known as Wheel Pose in Yoga dictionary.
Chakarasana is performed to enhance the flexibility of the spine. Experts also consider it an important part of the gymnastic or acrobatic routine where is also called as a back bridge. Like many other Yoga Poses, Chakarasana also works for enhancing mental, physical and emotional health at the same time. The back bending posture encourages the person to enjoy the life with fearlessness.
The scientific facts reveal that Chakarasana is capable enough to enhance the powerful force around the heart and distributes it to the whole body so that person can feel more energetic and alert with a higher state of awareness. It also improves confidence and courage in person so that he/she can deal appropriately with the challenges of life.
This yoga pose focuses on the frontal part of the body including quadriceps, hip flexors, shoulders, wrists and intercostals muscles. Hence, it helps to make them more stable and strengthened. Although this asana may appear challenging at the beginning days, once you start practicing it regularly, it can make you feel more comfortable and full of energy all the time.
Stand erect and keep a gap of around 1.5 foot between your legs. Raise your arms. Now, slowly bend your body backwards until your palms touch the floor. In this manner, your body forms a semi-circle; your fingers must be close to each other and pointing in the direction of your heels.
Gradually move your palms towards your heels, and bring close to the heels as much as possible. Hold your breath and remain in this position as long as possible. Thereafter exhale and come back to the original position.
In the beginning, do this yoga exercise for one time, and then gradually repeat it for around five times. Chakarasana is little tricky and difficult asana to do, but with customary practice you can accomplish this asana.
Things to know before you perform Chakarasana:
The best time to do this asana is an early morning with empty stomach. In case if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or have tendonitis in wrists, it is good to avoid performing this yoga pose. While practicing this pose, if you feel pain in your lower back due to an excessive extension, it is important to take the normal position back as soon as possible. This asana is not suitable for you if you have shoulder impingement. Those who are suffering from high blood pressure issues or headaches can also avoid this exercise. Patients that are suffering from serious hips and spine problems are not advised to perform this asana and it is also avoidable to a hernia and ulcer patients.
While performing Chakarasana, prefer to maintain a slow and rhythmic breathing cycle and your neck region should feel comfortable. Pay attention to keep knees and arms straight while maintaining some distance between feet so that you can have better balance for the body.
Benefits of Chakarasana:
This asana helps you to avoid disorders of the stomach; it expands your chest and makes your back lean and slender. Your arms become muscular and the legs and knees become strong. The thighs and calves fortify too. Upper-arms are strengthened and stomach-fat is reduced. This asana is very beneficial to increase your height.
Technique 1: Stand erect. Keep a distance of about 1.5 foot in front (toes) and 1 foot gap between your heels. Keep your feet firmly on the ground and raise your hands. Bend your back backwards and look up at the sky. Remain in this position for about one to two minutes and repeat the asana for about five to ten times.
Technique 2: Stand and clench your fist. Now bendyour body forward from your waist and raise your hands. Keep your legs straight. Try to touch your right knee with your nose, and then come in the position of Technique 1. Now repeat the action of Technique 2 and try to touch your left knee with your nose.
Benefits of Ardh-Chakarasana:
Ardh-Chakarasana makes your body agile and energetic, and keeps lethargy away. This asana makes your body muscular and strong. The bones in the legs and hands become tough. Your chest expands; spine becomes flexible and reduces head-ache, back-ache and other body pain. Ardh-Chakarasana lessens your fatigue and distress thereby keeping you cheerful and full of spirit.