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Basic yogasanas (part 11)

Ardh-chakra asana and Urdhva Dhanurasana (for strengthening the back)

Also known as the Chakra-asana or the wheel pose, the Urdhva Dhanurasana or the upward bow pose is one of the most challenging of all yogasanas. The body of the performer takes the shape of a stretched bow in this asana. This is the best of all yogasanas for your spine and back.

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow)
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow)

Way to execute

  • Lie supine on the floor and relax in the shava asana.
  • Exhale and bend your knees, bringing the heels of your foot as close to the buttocks as possible.
  • Make sure your feet lie flat on the floor.
  • Bend your arms , placing the palms on the floor such that they lie underneath the shoulders.and the fingers pointing towards the back.
  • Inhale slowly and start lifting up your body above the floor, with your head back and buttocks raised. Arch your spine as much as you can comfortably.
  • Press down on your hands and feet on the floor for support, while keeping on raising your hips and stomach as high as possible.
    • down your hands and legs.
    • Relax for a minute or two and repeat only if you are comfortable.

     

    Benefits of Urdhva Dhanurasana or Chakrasna

  • This asana helps in stretching our chest, lungs,shoulder and also your hip flexors, wrist flexors and core muscles. Hold until you can hold on to the breadth and then exhale out returning to the floor sliding
  • Along with strengthening the shoulder blade muscles, gluteus muscles of the hip and hamstrings of the thighs.
  • Low back pain can also be relieved by this posture.
  • Asthmatic patients are recommended this asana as it opens the accessory muscles for breathing.
  • The thyroid and pituitary glands are also stimulated by this asana.
  • It helps in counteracting depression and also aid in infertility problems.

 

Urdhva Dhanurasana(1)

 

Note: the chakrasana should not be done if you suffer withCarpal Tunnel Syndrome or low back pain, or headache.

Ardha Chakrasana or Standing Backward Bend

Unlike the Urdhva Dhanurasana or Chakrasana, the Ardha Chakrasana is much easier to perform.For people who suffer with back issues have a difficulty in executing the chakrasana right away, therefore they should always start with this asana unless their spine becomes flexible enough to carry out the chakrasana.

Way to execute

  • Stand up straight with your feet together and arms alongside the body.
  • Make sure that your weight is balanced on both the feet equally.
  • Slowly inhale and raise your arms above the head, with palms facing each other.
  • Stretch your arms to the upward direction and then breathe out bending the upper body backwards, pushing the pelvis forward.
  • Make sure that your elbows and knees are straight and your head up.
  • Hold in this position for a few seconds, then come back up while inhaling.
  • Breathe out and bring down your arms and relax.
  • Repeate the asana 3 times.

Benefits of Ardha Chakrasana

  1. The Ardha Chakrasana provide strength to the back and abdominal muscles and helps in making the spine flexible.
  2. This asana also stretches the front upper torso.
  3. The organs in the abdomen that includes the digestive, excretory and reproductive organs also get toned by performing this asana.
  4. The Ardh Chakrasana gives a perfect shape to the body and also helps to tone the arms and shoulder muscle.
  5. This asana is recommended to those suffering with back problems and having postural defects.

Note: The Ardha Chakrasana should not be performed if you suffer with asthma, high blood pressure and brain ailment. This asana should also be avoided during pregnancy.

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