|Posture:||Chakra-asana - The Wheel Pose|
|Translation:||Chakra, from the root cak ("to move") means wheel and therefore this is the Wheel Posture.|
The cakra-asana is also known as the urdhva-dhanurasana. Urdhva means raised, elevated or upright and dhanur means bow. Both "wheel posture" and "raised bow posture" describe the appearance of this asana.
|Difficulty:||(8) (full variation), (3) (bridge variation)|
The chakra-asana is more challenging than most other yoga postures. Don't be discouraged if your unable to accomplish it right away. Even attempting this posture without successful completion holds great benefits.
First and foremost is the strength and suppleness it restores to the spine. It strengthens the arms, shoulders and upper back as well and stimulates the cardiovascular system. The chakra-asana has an overall tonic effect for the entire body.
As the natural suppleness of the spine is restored after a period of practice you can begin to perfect the form of this asana and thus experience greater benefits.
First be certain that the arms are as straight as possible with very little to no bend in the elbows. When you can hold this comfortably, begin breathing through the nostrils while holding the posture and attempt to get a greater arch in the spine by bringing your hands closer to your feet and/or bringing your feet closer to your hands. Finally, you can extend the duration of the chakra-asana by doing several repetitions in sequence without resting in-between. As you return from the posture keep the hands behind the shoulders and the soles of the feet flat on the floor and as soon as the back returns to floor immediately raise it and enter the full posture again.