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Chakrasana (Sanskrit: चक्रासन IAST: Chakrāsana, Wheel Pose) or Urdhva Dhanurasana (Sanskrit: ऊर्ध्वधनुरासन; IAST: Ūrdhvadhanurāsana, Upward-Facing Bow Pose) is an asana. It is a backbend and is the first pose of the finishing sequence in Ashtanga. It gives great flexibility to the spine. In acrobatics and gymnastics this body position is commonly called a back bridge.

Etymology and origins[edit]

The name Urdhva Dhanurasana comes from the Sanskrit Urdhva ऊर्ध्व, upwards, and Dhanura धनु, a bow (for shooting arrows). The name Chakrasana comes from the Sanskrit words Chakra (चक्र, Chakra) meaning "wheel",[1] and Asana (आसन, Āsana) meaning "posture" or "seat".[2][3]

The pose is illustrated in the 19th C. ST as Paryaṇkāsana, Couch Pose.[4]


In the general form of the asana, the practitioner has hands and feet on the floor, and the abdomen arches up toward the sky. It may be entered from a supine position or through a less rigorous supine backbend, such as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose). Some advanced practitioners can move into Wheel Pose by "dropping back" from Tadasana (Mountain Pose), or by standing with the back to a wall, reaching arms overhead and walking hands down the wall toward the floor. Advanced practitioners may also follow wheel with any of its variations (listed below), or with other backbends, such as Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana, or by pushing back up to stand in Tadasana.[5][6]


The stretching in Chakrasana helps to tone and strengthen muscles in the back[7] and calves, and is also said to relieve tension and stress in people who sit for long times in front of a desk or computer.[8][9]


A variation of Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana
  • Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana (One-Legged Upward Bow): one leg is lifted straight up into the air.[10]
  • Eka Hasta Urdhva Dhanurasana (One-Armed Upward bow): one arm is raised off the ground and placed on the thigh or knee.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chakrasana". Ashtanga Yoga. Archived from the original on 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  2. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  3. ^ Kaul, H. Kumar (1 July 1993). Yoga and drug addiction. B.R. Publishing Corporation. p. 92. ISBN 978-81-7018-742-4.
  4. ^ Sjoman 1999, p. 70.
  5. ^ "Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose - Urdhva Dhanurasana - Yoga Pose". Yoga Journal. 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
  6. ^ "Urdhva Dhanurasana: The Full Wheel Pose". Gaia. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  7. ^ "Chakrasana – The Yoga Wheel Pose". YogDev. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose - Urdhva Dhanurasana - Yoga Pose". Yoga Journal. 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
  9. ^ "Chakrasana Health Benefits". Archived from the original on 2018-07-13. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  10. ^ "Eka Pada Chakrasana". Jaisiyaram. Retrieved 21 March 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]