A chakra asana is a yoga pose, also known as the wheel posture as the word “chakra” is the Sanskrit word for “wheel.” This asana is often referred to as urdhva dhanurasana, which literally translates from Sanskrit to English as “upward bow.” In this yoga pose, the body enters a backbend and makes the shape of a wheel or a bow. Apart from stretching and strengthening different parts of the body, this yoga posture stimulates hormonal glands, increases energy, and can be beneficial for illnesses, such as asthma and osteoporosis.
To enter the chakra asana, a person starts in corpse pose or savasana by lying flat and facing upward. While exhaling, the knees are bent slowly and the heels of the feet are brought up to meet the buttocks. The palms of the hands are placed flat on the ground beside the head with the fingers in the direction of the shoulders and the arms bent naturally. Through a slow inhalation, a person enters the position by pressing the feet and hands into the floor to lift the body toward the ceiling. Eventually, the back should be arched like a bow, the arms should be the straight and parallel to each other, and the head should be off the floor.
As with many yoga exercises, students should hold the chakra asana for at least five seconds or as long as they can manage. Repeating the posture three to five times provides the maximum benefit. For a challenge, the backbend can be deepened by slowly moving the feet closer to the hands. The pose is completed by reversing the order of the steps to finish the session in corpse pose or savasana. As chakra asana is one of the more challenging yoga postures, students may need to use blocks to support the hands or feet if desired. An easier variation of the chakra asana is the bridge pose or setu banda sarvangasana, in which the buttocks is lifted off the floor while the head and arms stay flat on the ground.
The chakra asana stretches the chest, lungs, and spine while strengthening the much of the upper body and lower body as well. It stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands and increases energy by arousing the cardiovascular system, which leads to better blood circulation in the central nervous system. It has been said that this pose may have therapeutic effects on illnesses, such as asthma, infertility, and even menstrual pain, along with back and waist pain, headaches, and osteoporosis.