My last post was 3 poses to reach Wheel Pose so today let’s go for it!
There is a wonderful blog on Gaia.com that goes into great detail on the pose, including props for modifications, and more. I’ve borrowed some of their description and recommend reading the full post for the background it gives. If you’re comfortable with cobra, bridge and camel pose and are ready to advance to wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) here we go.
To begin, lie on your back with the soles of your feet on the floor, close to your bum, feet hip width apart and parallel to the sides of the mat. Place your hands on the floor just above your shoulders with fingers spread wide, finger tips pointing towards your shoulders.
Be sure the four corners of your feet are planted evenly. Contract your inner thighs so they are pulling together, but maintain hip width distance. Send your arm bones into their sockets so that you feel your shoulder blades come on to your back. Your elbows are moving towards one another but stay at shoulder width.
Press evenly into your feet. Lift your hips and lower back off the mat. Pause there and check your body. When you are ready to proceed press into your palms and lift your upper torso off the mat, bringing the crown of your head to touch on the mat.
Check that your inner thighs and inner upper arms are still pulling towards each other, with hands and feet planted firm. Then press into your palms again to straighten the arms and lift your head off the floor.
Relax your neck and let it hang with gravity.
Take several breaths here. At first you may just take four or five. With practice, work up to longer holds, such as 10, 15 or 30 breaths. Wheel pose will build terrific strength and stamina, as well as fully opening the front of your body.
To release, allow your arms and legs to slowly bend. Tuck your chin into the chest and slowly lower your spine till you are flat on the mat.
Questions or thoughts? Ask in the comments or Tweet @YogaWithPaul