In Sanskrit ‘Chakra’ means the wheel so this asana is as â€˜the Wheel Posture.’ â€˜Chakras’ are energy centers along the spine to the top of the head. This pose intensely exercises the entire spine, stimulating each one of the energy centers.
How to practice?
- Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana.
- While exhaling bend the knees and bring the feet as close to the buttocks as possible with the soles of the feet flat on the floor
- Bend the arms at the elbows and place the palms of the hands flat on the floor directly under each shoulder with the fingers pointing toward the back.
- While inhaling slowly, begin to raise the head, back and buttocks off the floor while arching the spine.
- Continue to press downward on the hands and feet while raising the hips and stomach as high as possible.
- Hold the posture for the duration of the held inhaled breath.
- When you can’t hold the breath comfortable any longer, slowly exhale and return the back to the floor, slide the legs out straight returning to the shava-asana.
When you can hold the posture comfortably, begin breathing through the nostrils while holding the posture and attempt to get a greater arch in the spine by bringing your hands and feet closer to each other and by raising the back upward.
As the natural flexibility of the spine is restored after repeated practice you can begin to perfect the form of this asana and thus experience greater benefits.
Benefits of Chakra Asana
- The chakra-asana has an overall tonic effect on the entire body because it involves every part of the body.
- In particular it helps to stretch the spine and relieve tightness in the upper back and shoulder area.
- It promotes healthy circulation of blood in the spinal column, neck, face and brain.
- It strengthens the arms, shoulders and upper back as well and stimulates the cardiovascular system.
- Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary
- Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, infertility, and osteoporosis
Durations/Repetitions of Chakra Asana
The chakra-asana is either held for the duration of the inhaled breath or between one and three minutes while breathing gently through the nostrils. Repeat it two or three times.