Weekly Pose Tutorial: Chakrasana (Backward Roll)

Chakrasana is a transition pose that can be difficult to figure out at first, but it’s an important part of the practice. Today we’ll break it down so you can start using it in your practice.

When you think about this pose think about a wheel. A wheel has an axis point. In Chakrasana your body also has an axis point–your shoulders. So when you roll backward think about sending your body around the axis point of your shoulders. You’re not sending your body up. You’re going around.

You need a good amount of hamstring and upper back flexibility to do this pose properly. If you have long hair, you shouldn’t have your hair in a ponytail or a bun because they will make your head move to the side and could injure your neck.

If you have any kind of herniated disc or neck issues this is contraindicated for doing this pose.

If you have a healthy neck, this pose can actually release neck tension. It can also help you learn how to lift your pelvis through the centerline. Gives you a good sense of directionality so you can feel where you’re going without always seeing it.

To prepare for Chakrasana, you need to come into a shape that’s almost like Plow Pose.

Start out laying on your back. Now bring your legs up overhead. Bend your elbows and bring your hands down so they are near your ears.

If you can’t get into Plow Pose, you don’t have the flexibility to do the Chakrasana yet.

Now draw your elbows in and suck in your belly. On the exhale, flip your body all the way over, using your shoulders as an axis.

Don’t push hard with your arms to get yourself to go over. You’re moving on a lateral plane and not an up-and-down plane.

Now here’s a more advanced version.

Lay on your back with your knees bent.

Prepare by bending your elbows and placing your hands next to your ears.

Exhale tighten your pelvic floor. Inhale bring your legs up and all the way over your head.

Roll completely over and land directly in Chaturanga Dandasana.

Before you attempt this make sure you have enough room behind you to land in Chaturanga without hitting anything.

Remember you’re thinking about rolling the axis of your wheel around the shoulders.

The most important things to remember is that it’s a lateral motion and not upward. You’ll feel the full length of your body traveling back.

Watch the video from Kino below to get a better idea of how to do the pose.

By Omstars

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