This asana is quite challenging to me. But I really like this pose because of the following benefits this pose brings:
- Increase the flexibility of the spine, hip
- Strengthen arms, wrist, legs, buttocks, abdomen and long muscles running parallel to the spine.
- Stretch the front muscle.
- Open the chest, strengthen the lungs and improve breathing.
- Ignite all seven chakras
Below are several techniques for wheel pose
- 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.
- Focus on the legs and use their strength to pull up
- Engage the inner thighs to keep the legs in parallel
- 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.
- Bridge pose and variations. – I feel this very useful to strengthen the gluteus maximus and quadriceps.
- Cobra, Locust and upward dog poses – This poses help to strengthen all the back muscles especially for those along the spines.
- Camel – This pose help to open the chest and stretch the front torso.
- Eagle pose arms – To open the shoulder
- Dolphin pose and Downward Dog – To build strong shoulders
- King Arthur’s pose, Reclining hero pose – To open the hip.
Ref: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/473  http://strivehere.com/wheel-challenge/
By Sophia WEI
Jan-May 200Hrs Weekend TTC