‘Chakrasana’ is an asana in yoga popular among people for its exceptional benefits. Although the original name is ‘Urdhva Dhanurasana,’ it is also called the ‘Bridge Pose’ by many gymnasts and acrobats.
This posture when performed resembles a bow or a wheel. (The reason behind its name.)
Chakrasana is a highly effective exercise for improving the flexibility and strength of the spine. It has many other benefits for the body and organs like lungs about which you will read further.
The Bridge pose is an Elixer for people having stiffness or difficulty in moving the back.
Chakrasana is the first pose that gymnasts learn when they are new to it.
In this article, we have covered:
- precautions, and
- the correct method of performing Chakrasana
Benefits of Chakrasana:
From the many benefits of Chakrasana, we have shortlisted a few important ones briefly mentioned below.
1. Spine functioning and flexibility
The foremost benefit of Chakrasana or the wheel pose is that it improves the flexibility of the spinal cord drastically.
From the Thoracic spine to the Lumbar (complete back region), the neurological functioning of all the vertebrae gets improved highly when a person performs Chakrasana regularly.
This implies a higher efficiency in sending and receiving signals and messages from the brain. It also improves one’s reflex responses significantly.
In the Yogic culture, it is said that the better the spinal cord flexibility and strength of a person, the better will be the brainpower and capacity of that person.
It’s because the ‘Ojas’ formed in the body moves upward to the brain through the spine!
Vedic science describes Ojas as a different dimension of energy. It is an energy that plays a vital role in enhancing one’s immunity and body strength significantly.
2. Increases muscle strength and spine bone density
In a study (1), it was found that the participants who performed Chakrasana for 12 weeks have improved the strength of their following muscles considerably.
- Shoulder muscles
- Chest muscles
- Hip flexors
- Spinal extensors
Chakrasana has also been found as beneficial in increasing the spine bone density. It also helps in toning the abdominal region. If you are looking forward to entering into modeling, here’s a walking stick for you!
3. High oxygen supply to lungs
Chakrasana is a good exercise for asthma patients. The reason is its ability to expand the chest and create a position wherein the lungs naturally get more oxygen.
4. Improves blood circulation
The wheel pose, when performed for a few weeks, shows positive effects on the mind and body. It is because it improves blood circulation in the body. Good blood circulation further helps reduce stress, anxiety, and headaches. It also helps in getting a glow on the face.
When your blood circulation is good, all the body parts get enough supply of nutrients which help them function efficiently.
5. Increases one’s appetite
When you perform Chakrasana, your intestines get a good stretch. Which helps your intestinal movements get improved, which ultimately increases your appetite.
Performing it every day ensures no food or food particle get stuck in your intestines. Which further helps prevent stomach-related problems like diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, etc.
6. Mental wellbeing
When the neurons start supplying more oxygen to the brain and other body parts, one naturally feels satisfied all day. Good blood circulation, a stronger spine, and a good appetite help the brain function with even higher efficiency.
Steps to perform Chakrasana/ wheel pose:
- Lie down on a mat facing towards the ceiling.
- Open the palm and place both hands on the mat on both sides of the ear. Remember, when doing this, your elbow must face the ceiling.
- By bending your knees, bring your foot closer to the hip. Your knees must face upwards towards the ceiling. Try to get your foot as close to the hip as possible.
- Now, with the support of your hands and legs, lift your hip upwards. Your overall body must look like an upward-facing ‘Bow’ in shape.
- Stay in this position for initially 20 seconds and increase the duration with time. Repeat this 3 to 5 times.
- To get back to the normal position, slowly bend your elbows and knees by lowering your hip.
- Preferably, you can practice the counter asana to chakrasana now. Which is ‘Pawan Muktasana’. To perform this, you must bend your knees by holding them with your hands and bringing them as close to the chest as possible. This will make sure that you don’t invite an ‘Anterior pelvic tilt’.
- Chakrasana must not be practiced after having food. Indeed, no Yoga Asana shall be performed with a filled stomach.
- If having ‘Anterior Pelvic tilt,’ don’t practice Chakrasana.
- If having injuries or pain in the wrist, neck, spinal cord, or back, don’t practice Chakrasana until the injuries go vanished.
- it is better to avoid chakrasana if having low blood pressure.
- If having cardiac diseases, it’s better to consult the doctor before practicing.
- Avoid if pregnant.
Even though you can perform Chakrasana at any time of the day, its the best to practice it in the morning hours, under the open sky.
Practicing Yoga and Pranayama under the open sky has many benefits for balancing the Tridoshas and maintaining the health of internal organs.
Chakrasana is one of the prime Yoga Asanas. Although its original name is “Urdhva Dhanurasana,” it is popularly known as the ‘Wheel Pose.’
The Chakrasana pose has many benefits for the body and mind to offer. Some of these benefits include:
- Improvement in back flexibility
- Strengthening of spine bone
- Strengthening of shoulder, chest, hamstring, and hip flexor muscle
- Increase in supply of oxygen to lungs
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases one’s appetite
- Promotes mental wellbeing
Even though Chakrasana has so many benefits, one must make sure they follow the precautions carefully.
People with ‘Anterior Pelvic tilt,’ spine, wrist, back, or neck injuries must not practice this asana. People with low blood pressure and cardiac diseases must also avoid this. Pregnant ladies must avoid Chakrasana.
In times of modernization where physical activities hardly occupy any space in our routine, Chakrasana is a great opportunity to maintain body flexibility. Do you perform Chakrasana daily? If yes, did you notice any benefits from it? Let us know in the comment section below!