Chakrasana, precisely, Chakrasana Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana, also known as Full-Wheel Pose and Upward Bow Pose, is defined as a back-bending yoga posture that leads to the opening up of chest, as well as tones the thighs, abdomen, and arms, whilst engaging the entire bodily mechanisms or functionalities. Being considered a heart-opening stretch, this Chakrasana Pose enabled by a plethora of Chakrasana Steps aids in releasing negative emotions like sadness and depression thereby imparting cathartic, purging effects and sensations to the mind, body, and soul. It derives its name from the Sanskrit words, ‘chakra’ signifying wheel, and ‘asana’ denoting yoga posture or position.
Level of Difficulty/HardshipIntermediate/Advanced
How to perform & practice Chakrasana PoseBelow are Chakrasana Steps to help you out with performing the exact and accurate Chakrasana Pose:
- To start with, lie on your back.
- Bend your knees in such a manner so that your feet are flat on the floor in a parallel position, keeping in sync with your sitting bones, about a foot’s length away from your hips. Then press your feet firmly into the floor.
- Place hands on the floor just right above your shoulders with fingers facing the shoulders.
- Press your hands lifting your upper part of the body off the mat, and resting the crown of your head lightly on the shoulders.
- Press into feet whilst lifting your legs, pelvis, and abdomen off the mat, giving impetus to the inner thighs or activating it to the best capability.
- Push more into your feet, bringing more weight into your palms, which act as a protective shield to your lower back.
- Maintain strength, agility, and stability in your arms by continuing to press firmly into the mat.
- Make sure your head hangs in a neutral posture, simultaneously looking into it not to put too much pressure on or strain your neck.
- Hold on for 10-15 breaths.
- To exit this one amongst the many Chakrasana Steps, slowly lower your arms and legs, bringing your spine back onto the mat vertebrae by vertebrae.
Benefits of Chakrasana Pose:
- Increases & maximizes energy and heat.
- Strengthens the arms, legs, spine, and abdomen to a great extent.
- Aids in opening up the chest.
- Stretches the shoulders.
- Acts as a facilitator to stretch the hip flexors and core.
- Beneficial for strengthening the glutes and thighs.
- Enhances flexibility in the spine.
A Word of Caution & Precautions:
- People suffering from back problems (specifically lower).
- People suffering from a shoulder injury should abstain or take preventive measures whilst performing Chakrasana Pose. For this, they need to do so under the guidance or consultation of experienced, certified yoga trainers or instructors.
- Women helming the childbirth/pregnant women.
- People suffering from high or low blood pressure.
Modifications & Variations in Practicing Chakrasana Pose:
- To modify: If one is a fresher or beginner and/or possesses limited flexibility in his/her spine, then starting with Bridge Pose is a great option. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana is a beginner’s backbend yoga posture. To enter the Bridge Pose, lie on the back with knees bent and hands and feet on the mat. Then lift the lower back off the ground as high as possible, holding onto it for 10 seconds to one minute. To exit the Bridge Pose, lower the back to the floor.
- To increase the challenge: Make it a point to slowly move your hands near your feet, lessening or shortening the distance between your hands and feet thereby increasing the height of the wheel shape. Thereafter, continue pressing firmly into your feet whilst shifting the weight towards your hands.
Preparatory Poses & Follow-Up Postures:
- Standing Backward Bend |Ardha Chakrasana (Preparatory) is extremely beneficial for keeping a check on elevated blood sugar levels whilst relieving back pain and stomach irritation.
- Cat/Cow Stretch | Marjariasana and Bitilasana (Preparatory), with Marjariasana yoga posture being inspired by the cat stretch, giving your body the ever-relaxing feline stretch, extremely beneficial for mind and body, and Bitilasana-a gentle pose performed by anyone at any level of skill, generally practiced alongside Marjariasana.
- Bow Pose | Dhanurasana (Preparatory)-a sequence of Yogasana that helps us to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles.
- Fish Pose | Matsyasana (Follow-up)-a reclining back-bending asana highly beneficial for improving muscle strength, posture, bone strength, digestive function, and menstrual pain, as well as relieve mental stress, tension, and anxiety.