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Chakrasana (wheel pose)



Chakra - Wheel

In this asana, the body is bent towards the back in circular pose, hence it is known as Chakrasana. The body can be bent at the waist forward or backward. While bending forward, the body does not appear in a circular pose. However in backward bends, the body looks like a circular pose. Hence, it is known as Chakrasana.


Taking the asana position


1. Start in supine position. Bend at the knees and place the feet close to the buttock, about hip-width apart.
2. Lift the arms up and have them place beneath the shoulders, with the fingers pointing to the shoulder.
3. Exhale while inhaling; lift the buttock, waist, lower and middle back off the ground. Exhale.
4. While inhaling, lift the shoulders up by pushing onto the ground with the palms. Lift up the buttock; waist and the whole back until the hands are straight at elbows and legs at the knees. Breathe normally in the final position.


The asana position


1. The whole back is in a backward arching position. There should be no tension in between the shoulder blades and in the neck region.
2. The weight of the body is distributed evenly on the feet and palms. You can do so by shifting the body (not the palms or feet) back and forth to find a balance in the weight distributed.
3. The neck should be in a relaxed position. Do not turn the head to either side as this might put unnecessary tension to the neck and shoulder.
4. The facial muscles should be relaxed and calm.
5. Feel the openness of the chest and breath slow and steadily while in the pose.


Releasing the asana position


1. Inhale while exhaling, bend at the elbows and legs at knees. Bend the head, and release the head, shoulders, waist and buttock onto the ground. Rest the back entirely on the ground.
2. Bring both the palms away from the shoulders and have the arms down by the side of the body.
3. Straighten out the legs and come back into supine position.


Anatomical focus


1. Spinal column and the muscles attached to the vertebrae
2. Muscles on the upper part of the abdomen
3. Thighs
4. Calves




1. Maintain slow and rhythmic breathing throughout the whole process of staying in the pose.
2. On the openness felt at the front part of the body, especially the chest and front thigh region.
3. The deep arch in the spinal column.




1. Keep the breathing slow and rhythmic
2. Keep the shoulder blades and neck region relaxed and comfortable
3. Keep the facial muscles soft and relaxed
4. Keep the arms and knees straight
5. Keep some distance between the feet for better support and balance while in the pose
6. Respect and find acceptance with the body, by not pushing yourself into the pose.




1. Exert excessive force, which may cause undue strain onto the arms while lifting the body up into the position.
2. Force yourself into getting the arch in the spine
3. Strain and tense up the body while moving into the pose and/or while doing the pose




1. The entire front part of the body is being stretch entirely, which is good for people who are introverts as the openness in the heart may work on their heart chakra.
2. Due to the stretch at the upper part of the abdomen muscles, it gives some pressure on the internal organs of the abdomen and therefore, increasing their efficiency
3. The muscles on the front part of the thighs are stretch and the calves are strengthening while doing and holding the pose. This will also help to strengthen the leg muscles.
4. This pose is extremely beneficial for those who sit long hours in front of the desk or computer as they usually hunch over the desk all day long. The backward bend in the pose will relieves tension or stress from the body and help in decreasing the ailments arising out of it.
5. This pose will also help in toning and strengthening the entire back muscles.


Therapeutic application


1. Stress
2. Anxiety


Precautions & contra-indications


1. People who suffer from serious spinal column ailments, such as cervical and lumbar spondylities should avoid doing this pose
2. If there is not much spine flexibility at the beginning, one should not force or push the body into doing the pose.
3. Because of the deep arch to the spine, it is best to do a counter pose, such as Matsyasana(Fish pose) after practicing Chakrasana, to relieve any strain from the spine.




Pose is usually held for 15 seconds for beginners. With more practice of this pose, one can gradually increase the timing up to 2 minutes.


Variations & tips


1. To relieve tension felt in the lower back, one can try to lift the heels of the feet off the ground and thus, balancing on the toes and palms.
2. Do not focus on arching the spine, instead focus on maintaining steadiness and comfort in the pose. Letting go of perception on how the ideal pose should look like.
3. If chakarasana is not ready for the body to do it, then do the preparatory pose-Ardha Chakrasana.
4. Spread the feets apart for beginners to build stability in the pose, and gradually place the feets together for a deeper arch to the spine.




1. Ideal pose to practice after forward bend posture.




Preparatory poses


1. Ardha Chakrasana


Follow-up poses


1. Forward bending posture, such as paschimottanasana.
2. Makarasana - Crocodile pose
3. Shavasana


Ancient texts


No important text of yoga mentions this asana. However, as it is beneficial due to it physical effects, it is invariably mentioned in most of the modern texts. However no references in the ancient texts are found.