Yoga Poses for Wheel Pose

Wheel poseĀ is an expression that opens the heart while harnessing strength from the entire body. As children, many of us did this pose spontaneously before our bodies stiffened up from stress and sedentary living.

This pose can be a real challenge. Some people find it difficult to overcome. “My body can’t handle that” is what we tell ourselves. Others see the challenge as physical. Wheel Pose can be difficult for people with chronic shoulder or back pain.

I would advise all yogis to never file a pose under “impossible.” We stop working to prove our own mistakes as soon as we remove a pose from the list. This pose may take a long time to perfect, but the effort is worth it.

Warm up your body properly before you try Wheel Pose. You can prepare for Wheel Pose by doing these six yoga poses.

Shoulder opening twist

The Wheel engages many muscles, but also sensitive parts of the body, like the shoulders. This pose is a good way to open up the shoulders.

Lay on your back with your right hand outstretched in a T shape. Bring your left hand up to your left ear so that the elbow is at 90 degrees. Roll onto your right, kick the left foot forward, and place it next to the right buttock. You should feel a stretch in your right shoulder. Then, try it on the other side.

Plank Pose

The perfect way to strengthen your arms and core. Place your hands underneath the shoulders and then push straight up with your arms. The body should be in a long, straight line.

It may be necessary to raise or lower the tail a little so that the back does not arch or sag. Hold the core for 5-10 deep breaths.

Sphinx Pose

Place your elbows under your shoulders while still on your belly. Hug the biceps to the body. Engage your core and thighs, then gently lift your chest. This will support your lower back. Hold for five breaths. Repeat if you have a very tight back.

Low Lunge with Backbend

Take a low lunge while standing on the mat’s top edge. Step your right foot backward, keeping your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your left leg. Start by pulling your hands downwards and interlacing your fingers behind your tailbone.

As you lean back, raise your head slightly. Here, engage the core to avoid back strain. Both sides should be practiced.

Camel Pose

This pose uses many of the same muscle groups as Wheel, but it does not require quite the same strength in the upper body. As you sit high on your knees with your legs hip-distance away, extend both arms in front of yourself as if you were reaching out for something far off. Slowly lean your back while maintaining control at the core.

Bring your hands as close to your lower back as possible. If you find this comfortable, reach your hands down to your heels. Lean the head slightly back, and use the neck to support the position. Engage your thighs to push the hips forward.

After a few seconds, slowly come out of the pose and center your spine by moving through the table.

Bridge Pose

This pose is a typical Wheel prep. While lying on your back and bending the knees, place the soles a few inches from the bum. Make sure that you can reach the heels with your fingers.

As you begin to lift your hips, engage your core and thighs. Interlock your hands underneath the tailbone if you can. Roll the shoulders inwards to lift the hips. Hold for three deep breaths.

To achieve a wonderful opening of the front body, you can practice Bridge using a block underneath the tailbone. Prepare for the Wheel by doing three rounds of Bridge at any level.

Be mindful of your body and respect it as you always do when practicing yoga. Wheel Pose can be very painful if your lower back is not warmed up or if your body muscles are not supporting your back.

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