Chakrasana (Sanskrit: चक्रासन IAST: Chakrāsana, Wheel Pose), also called Urdva Dhanurasana (Sanskrit: ऊर्ध्वधनुरासन; IAST: Ūrdhvadhanurāsana, Upward-Facing Bow Pose) is an asana. It is a backbend and part of the finishing sequence in the Primary Series of Ashtanga. Chakrasana or the wheel pose is a backward bending yoga asana. Chakra in Sanskrit means Wheel. In chakrasana, the final position looks like a wheel, hence the name. It gives great flexibility to the spine. In acrobatics and gymnastics this body position is commonly called a back bridge.
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In the general form of the asana, the practitioner has hands and feet on the floor, and the abdomen arches up toward the sky. Wheel Pose 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.
The stretching in Chakrasana helps to tone and strengthen muscles in the back and calves, and is also said[by whom?] to relieve tension and stress in people who sit for long times in front of a desk or computer.
- Eka Pada (One-Legged) Chakrasana//Urdhva Dhanurasana
- one leg is lifted straight up into the air.
- Eka Hasta (One-Handed) Chakrasana//Urdhva Dhanurasana
- one arm is raised off the ground and placed on the thigh or knee.
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