Urdhva Dhanurasana – Wheel Pose

This asana is quite challenging to me. But I really like this pose because of the following benefits this pose brings:

  1. Increase the flexibility of the spine, hip
  2. Strengthen arms, wrist, legs, buttocks, abdomen and long muscles running parallel to the spine.
  3. Stretch the front muscle.
  4. Open the chest, strengthen the lungs and improve breathing.
  5. Ignite all seven chakras

Below are several techniques for wheel pose

  1. Control the proportional relation between lengthening the thoracic curve and deepening the lumbar curve. Keep the abdominal muscles slightly contracted to prevent excessive arch in the lumbar region.
  2. Focus on the legs and use their strength to pull up
  3. Engage the inner thighs to keep the legs in parallel
  4. Rotate the arms outside to open the shoulder

I find the following poses are relatively easy to be practised to better prepare you for the full wheel pose. There is also a interesting wheel challenge – a two months’ exercise plan to further perfect the asana. 

  1. Bridge pose and variations. – I feel this very useful to strengthen the gluteus maximus and quadriceps.
  2. Cobra, Locust and upward dog poses – This poses help to strengthen all the back muscles especially for those along the spines.
  3. Camel – This pose help to open the chest and stretch the front torso.
  4. Eagle pose arms – To open the shoulder
  5. Dolphin pose and Downward Dog – To build strong shoulders
  6. King Arthur’s pose, Reclining hero pose – To open the hip.

Ref:

[1] http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/473

[2] http://strivehere.com/wheel-challenge/

By Sophia WEI

Jan-May 200Hrs Weekend TTC