Monday, May 28, 2012

Pose of the Week: Wheel

Wheel Pose*, also known as Supine Bow Pose, is referred to in the Sanskrit language as Chakarasana.

Wheel Pose

The purpose of this pose is to strengthen the upper body, glutes and leg muscles; all while stretching the abdominal muscles.

To begin, lie flat on your back.  Bend your knees and press your feet into your mat at a position that is slightly wider than hip width.  Bring your hands above your head, bend your elbows, and place your palms face-down onto your mat.  Your fingertips should be pointed towards your shoulders.

Beginning position

Using your upper body and legs, press your hands and feet into the mat while lifting the torso and glutes up into an arched position.  While holding this pose, press your palms, heels, and toes down into the mat while you are pressing your abdominals and hips to the sky.  Try to straighten the arms as much as possible.  To intensify your concentration, focus your gaze to the tip of your nose.

Final Position

You should avoid this pose if you struggle with high blood pressure, or if you suffer from shoulder or back injury.  To modify this pose, leave a comfortable bend in your elbows as opposed to straightening your arms.  It is always recommended to back off of your level of intensity if you feel any pain.

Remember that it is okay to modify.  Know your body, know how to listen to your body, and respect where you are at today.  Also know that this is an advanced pose -- please don't feel frustrated if you can't complete the pose today.  Strength and flexibility come with practice.

Thank you for practicing with me today.  Namaste.

*Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
I am not a doctor or a personal trainer, so I may not be able to address your specific contraindications.
I can only teach you what I know and what I have been taught.

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