Urdhva Dhanurasana O Chakrasana: The Pose of the Root

This is a very common backward bend in almost all yoga sessions and is done at the end of them to completely loosen up the whole body and relax it completely.

From a technical point of view, it is a rather easy pose but it must be carried out carefully, so as to avoid possible injuries.

It is absolutely ideal for anyone who leads a rather sedentary lifestyle and who do jobs where they sit for a long time; this type of lifestyle, in fact, leads to little dedication to taking care of one’s back.

Performing the wheel position is therefore a real one cure-all to avoid inflammation of the spine and muscle tears, which can affect the back part of your body.

In this guide, we will explain how to perform Urdhva Dhanurasana correctly and what are all the benefits related to its execution. We will also tell you about its historical origins and the yoga variations in which this asana is mostly performed.

Many names, one goal: well-being

Unlike other poses of this discipline which comes from India, the figure of the bridge (as it is traditionally defined in artistic gymnastics) can boast numerous names that describe it.

Depending on the yoga teacher and the variant you are doing, it may happen that the same asana is called in various ways:

  • Chakrasana: “Wheel Pose”
  • Ardha charkasana: “half wheel pose”
  • Urdhva dhanurasana: “Upward Bow Pose”

As we were saying, the differences are to be found mainly in the various currents of thought on yoga, which initially spread in Asia and subsequently throughout the Western world thanks to the followers of the discipline who did a real work of dissemination, with the sole aim of making appreciate the fantastic world of yoga to everyone.

Differences in names aside, the execution technique as well as the benefits related to it are absolutely the same and anyone who decides to approach this asana will find very big satisfactions physical and mental.

Benefits

Like almost all bends and poses in which the body twists (more or less intensely), the part of the body that benefits the most it is unquestionably the back.

By consistently carrying out the wheel pose you will have a natural relaxation of the spine which will also bring benefits to the cervical spine.

Furthermore, the following positive aspects on body and soul can also be observed:

  • Shoulder, chest and chest opening
  • Toning of the arms
  • Strengthening of leg muscles
  • Natural widening of the hips
  • Psychological well-being
  • Mood improvement
  • Stress reduction

As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, all those who have very sedentary jobs and who don’t like playing sports can use this and other positions to prevent possible physical problems linked to an inactive lifestyle.

If you happen to pass by a playground, you will almost certainly observe little girls and boys doing this position for fun.

It is likely that they are not aware of the fact that they are performing a yoga asana but it is equally curious to discover how many positions that come from distant India are the subject of spontaneous activities by children in their moments of leisure and entertainment

Guide to performing Chakrasana

Guide to performing Chakrasana

  • Lie on the mat with your stomach up
  • Make sure your back and buttocks touch the entire surface of your yoga mat
  • Bend your knees
  • Bring the soles of your feet close to your buttocks so that your heels almost touch your buttocks (feet must be parallel and positioned hip distance apart)
  • Bend your elbows and bring your palms up
  • Place them under your shoulders with your fingertips pointing towards your feet
  • Breathe consciously to increase concentration and prepare for the second phase of execution
  • Press into your palms and feet as you lift your hips and shoulders off the floor
  • Place the top of your neck on the mat (be careful not to put too much weight on this area of ​​the skull)
  • Try to find good body stability and also lift your head (a few centimeters may be enough initially)
  • Raise your arms and legs further and find maximum stability
  • The “textbook” execution involves fully extending your arms

Ideally, the position should be held for about a minute. Depending on your abilities and the strength you possess, you may even start to feel tired after about ten seconds. If so, when you decide to return to the starting position, do so slowly first resting the bottom and then the rest of the body.

Some useful suggestions

When practicing yoga, regardless of the difficulty level of the asana, it is necessary to take some precautions to avoid unpleasant injuries.

We therefore remind you not to perform Urdhva Dhanurasana if you suffer from wrist problems – which are significantly stressed in this asana – and if you have back pain.

Even if it is a useful pose to combat this annoying pain, carrying it out when inflammation is ongoing could be harmful and counterproductive.

Finally, remember that it is always very useful to carry out some warm-up exercises before the yoga session and to avoid eating too heavy foods, as digestion could take away useful energy as well as being the cause of nausea and abdominal swelling.

Conclusion

Wheel pose is a basic level asana that can be performed by anyone with a little practice and concentration. Thanks to its movement it is possible to stretch the spine and relax numerous muscles in your body.

The sensation of physical well-being is also transmitted to the psyche of those who perform it, offering a sensation of peace of mind and total relaxation.

To avoid getting hurt and making the experience unpleasant, you need to take some simple precautions: perform stretching exercises, make sure you have cleaned and maintained your mat and avoid consuming heavy meals.

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