What is Wheel Pose?
In sanskrit "Urdhva Dhanurasana" or "Chakrasana", this is a backbend pose, in wheel pose your back side on our body is strengthening, including arm, wrist, back, buttocks, hamstrings and calves, on the other side of our body will be in stretching, lengthening and opening position.
The benefits in this pose, it's help open your heart chakra to balance emotion, also it's a inversion pose to give a blood flood to our whole body, which means anti-aging......sounds good for us!
How to prepare?
Before we get into this intense pose, of course we must warm up first...I would like to use my yoga wheel to warm up, if you don't have one you can do it without in same poses, there are no problems.
Following warm up sequence take 5-10 breaths on each pose:-
1. Upward Salute - inhale bring the wheel over head, ribcage lifted, slightly aching back, engaging core and shoulders lifted pushing wheel away from top of head.
2. Low Lunge - place the wheel under left leg, find more space to push the wheel against to your calf, sink your right hip down with your core engaging to open hip flexor, inhale reaching right hand up, to create a curve on your right side of your body, then repeat on the other side.
3. High Lunge - place the wheel under your right quadriceps, keep right leg straighten, to get more open on your hip flexor, then repeat on the other side
4. Plank - place your palms on the wheel and fingers grabbing the edge of the wheel, you can start with your knees on the ground, then engaging your core step your toes back one by one to straighten your legs, after maintain your heels, hips and shoulders in strong straight line, gaze down and keep the wheel in balance as well.
5. Shoulder Opening - bending your knee and reaching arm up over head, start to bending elbows and find the edge of the wheel to hold, keep your buttocks grounded and chin to chest, if your have more space to go deeper, walk your hands a bit lower farer edge to opening your chest deeper, bring your elbows closer toward head to protect your shoulders. After 5-10 breaths, slowly go with your courter pose which is bring your chest to your knees and hug it with rounding back, take few deep breaths then go to next step.
6. Hands push on the wall - this movement is make our muscles understand while we are in half wheel pose, how to push up to the ground to lifting our body up.
Bring your middle back lean on the wheel and bending your elbows, place your palms on the wall around ear level with fingers pointing down, inhale push the wall away until you straighten your arms, keep your chin to your chest and buttocks stay grounded, if you need a break after few breaths then go ahead or else you can stay few more breaths.
7. Wheel Preparation - set up 2 blocks against to the wall within head distance, and other 2 blocks one side on the blocks which the one against to the wall and the edge on the ground, it has an angle setting to help your wrist feel less intense when you lifted up.
First lean on the wheel and bend your knees, keep heels close to buttocks, then lean back lifting your buttocks off the ground, reaching top of head on the ground, place your palms on the blocks with the one has angle, make sure the blocks is stable, inhale feet pushing to the ground and palms pushing to the blocks, send your hip up toward ceiling.
8. Wheel - same as wheel preparation without the blocks setting, place palms on the ground, after lifting your body up, try to use your legs to push and bring your chest toward the wall.
After the whole warm up sequence, give it a try without the yoga wheel :)
Enjoy your practice, if you have a question, please drop me a message, Namaste!
Tutorial video is in our channel here