Benefits – Lengthens the spine, strengthens the shoulders, wrists and opens the hip flexors. It opens the heart chakra, allowing more air into the lungs and strengthens the core muscles. Wheel pose enhances the nervous system and gets the blood flowing throughout the body. Most importantly, practicing this asana mends a broken heart by keeping the heart chakra open and flowing. It connects us to our loved ones, our planet and our emotions; related to compassion, love, joy, happiness, kindness, and giving. It keeps positive thoughts towards oneself and others continuous.
Caution: Intermediate/Advanced Pose
1. While lying on the floor, bring knees bent, feet flat on the earth as close to the sit bones as possible.
2. Plant hands, arms bent, next to the ears.
3. Be careful not to point toes outward, but to point them forward and straight. This is the most common mistake and awareness of the feet will protect the knees.
4. Once you have your hands and feet in place, use the core, legs and arms to push yourself up into Wheel Pose. Keep the gluteus muscles tight, core engaged and shoulders strong.
5. If you feel strong and radiant in this pose, start to lift either foot off the ground and point toe up towards the sky.
6. Hold for 5 deep breaths, letting the inhalations flow deeply into the rib cage, expanding the heart center. Slowly, lower down when ready.
7. Repeat 2-3 times. Do not hug the legs into the chest, or go into a forward fold immediately, but rather practice twists following Wheel Pose to keep the spine in good health.