Chakrasana, also called Urdva Dhanurasana is an asana. Sanskrit: ऊर्ध्वधनुरासन; Urdhva – Upward, Dhanur – Bow, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – OORD-vah don-your-AHS-anna
The Urdhva Dhanurasana is a backbend and also an asana that forms a part of the trailing off exercises in an Ashtanga Yoga regimen. It is also called the Chakrasana or the Wheel Pose, apart from being called the Upward Facing Bow Pose. When the pose is assumed, it resembles a wheel or an upward facing bow. This asana is known to give the spine great flexibility. When done as a part of an acrobatic or a gymnastic routine, it is called the back bridge.
Everything You Need To Know About The Chakrasana
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed only when your stomach and bowels are empty. It is best to have a meal at least four to six hours before your practice so that the food is digested well enough and you are energized for the workout.
It is best to practice yoga in the morning. But in the event you cannot manage to take out time in the morning, you can do it in the evening as well.
Style: Ashtanga Yoga
Duration: 1 to 5 minutes
Stretches: Abdomen, Thorax, Lung
Strengthens: Back, Legs, Arms, Vertebral column, Abdomen, Buttocks, Wrists
How To Do The Urdhva Dhanurasana (Chakrasana)
Precautions And Contraindications
These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before doing this asana.
As a beginner, when you do this pose, you will find your feet and knees splaying as you lift your body to assume this pose. This will tend to compress your lower back. So, you can use a strap on your thighs to keep them hip-width apart throughout the asana.
If you need to keep your feet in place, use a block between them such that the sides of the big toes press the edges of the block.
Advanced Pose Alterations
To intensify the pose, you can do the Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana. For this, once you get into the Wheel Pose, move your weight on one foot. Then, as you exhale, bend the other foot at the knee, and pull it into your torso. Exhale and stretch it out upwards. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and then bring your knee to the floor as you exhale. Repeat using the other leg.
The Benefits Of The Upward Facing Bow Pose
These are some amazing benefits of chakra asana.
The Science Behind The Chakrasana (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Like most other yoga asanas, this one also works on our mind, body, and emotions. This asana encapsulates the whole essence of back bending and moves you towards joy and fearlessness.
It is known to enhance the vital force that surrounds your heart and the distributive force that is all over your body (pran and vyana), therefore helping you become more aware of things and also building the courage to battle any challenge that comes your way.
This asana focuses on flexing the frontal part of the body that includes the shoulders, the intercostal muscles, the wrists, the hip flexors, and the quadriceps. It also imparts strength to the shoulders, sacrum, wrists, and arms, and makes them more stable. If done correctly, it also helps to rotate the thighs and arms and also engage the hamstrings.
This asana, even though deemed a basic one, is extremely challenging. But if done correctly and regularly, it can not only make you stronger, but also more compassionate, fearless, and happy.
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