For the yoga sadhaks who feel intimidated by the challenging Wheel Pose (Chakrasana) but, wish to reap the rewards of backbends, Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose) is the path to follow. The Ardha Chakrasana is a gentle variation to the Full Wheel Pose guaranteeing strength and flexibility.
As a backbend yoga posture suitable for beginners, The Half Wheel Pose offers physical benefits that prepare the body-mind for deeper backbends such as Wheel Pose. From strength to flexibility, the gentle Ardha Chakrasana is the welfare pose.
Become a recipient of the health benefits of Ardha Chakrasana by following the steps of the pose.
● Stand in the Tadasana.
● Rest the hands on your hips and breathe slowly.
● As you breathe, bend your upper body into a backbend (perform it within your body limits).
● Keep the legs strong and actively engaged.
● You can either place the hands on the hips or can bend the arms in the backward direction with palms joined in the Namaskar position.
● In the final position, hang your head back but do not strain the neck.
● Lie flat on a yoga mat with arms by your side, palms facing down.
● Bend the knees and place the feet on the floor. Walk your heels as close to your hips as possible.
● With your palms and feet pressing into the yoga mat, lift your hips up. Keep the thighs parallel to the ground.
● Either hold your ankles with the hands or place them on the lower back for support.
● To release, gently lower the back towards the ground and practice knee-to-chest pose.
The Half Wheel Pose should not be practiced by:
● People suffering from spinal, hip and neck injury
● Ulcer and Hernia patients
● Pregnant women as it puts a strain on the fetus
● High blood pressure survivors
The Top 7 Health Benefits of Half Wheel Pose:
1. Frontal Stretch: As you contort your upper body and head into a backbend, your frontal body gets a good stretch. The stretch releases the muscles of the chest and abdomen. The release of the chest muscles results in the opening of the lungs thus enhancing the oxygen intake in the body. The release of the abdomen tones the abdominal organs resulting in the enhanced functioning of the organs. In both situations, the frontal stretch ensures health.
2. Strengthens Back: The backbend position of the Ardha Chakrasana strengthens the muscles of the back and core. With more strength, you can easily fold into more advanced backbend yoga poses and that too, on a deeper level. So, with the strength benefits of Half Wheel Pose, carve your path for advanced yoga poses.
3. Supple Spine: The back bending of the upper body acts as a counteractive to the constant slouching. Due to prolonged sitting the back muscles become stiff. As you perform backbend, the spinal muscles get a stretch and release, which helps in making the spine flexible and healthier. The health benefits of Ardha Chakrasana for the spine are numerous. Practice the pose with a dedication to reap the rewards.
4. Get Rid of Unwanted Fat: Fat on the stomach and thighs are often hard to get rid of. In addition to consuming a healthy diet, resort to the practice of Ardha Chakrasana. The Half Wheel Pose facilitates engagement and stretching of the muscles that assist in weight loss. Also, the pose is beneficial for digestive organs aiding in proper assimilation and elimination, necessary for natural weight loss.
5. Good for Postural Defects: Those who feel discouraged to socialize because of their poor posture, here’s the remedy for you, the Half Wheel Pose. Due to the bending and resulting in stretching, strengthening, and toning, the pose rewards you with a healthy back and improved posture. Step out in grace with the practice and health benefits of Ardha Chakrasana.
6. Improves Blood Circulation: The blood within the body is the carrier of oxygen and nutrients. Therefore, its proper flow is essential. The Half Wheel Pose stimulates the blood supply in the body. The improved blood flow ensures an optimal supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organs, muscles, tissues, and joints.
7. Eases Menstrual Discomfort: As the pose enhances the blood supply within the body and strengthens the muscles, it is regarded to ease menstrual discomfort. Females can practice this pose with attention to details for relief from discomfort and pain.
All those who can’t perform Wheel Pose, practice Half Wheel Pose for strength and flexibility.
Benefits of Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose)
- Ardha Chakrasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
- It tones the organs in the abdomen including the digestive, excretory and reproductive organs.
- Ardha Chakrasana gives a good shape to the body. It is good for those who have back problems and postural defects.
- It opens the chest and strengthens the arms and shoulder muscles.
- This posture prepares beginners for the more difficult full wheel pose or Chakrasana.
Contraindications for Ardha Chakrasana
- Ardha Chakrasana should not be done by those suffering from any neck, hip or spinal injury.
- Be cautious while doing this pose if you have vertigo.
- Those suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this pose.
- Pregnant women should avoid all poses that put any strain on the fetus.