WHEEL POSE (Full Back Bend)
Why use it
For those of us who tend to round our shoulders forward (i.e., What is your posture as you read this post? Are you hunching or slightly bending forward?), opportunities to draw our shoulders back while keeping our collarbone open, help to correct this inclination. Backbending can help to release the strain put on our backs from daily activities such as sitting at our desks, computers or in our cars. Poses, like wheel pose, help us to deeply stretch our back muscles as we simultaneously open the front side of our bodies.
How to get into it
Begin lying down with your knees bent about hip-width apart, if not slightly wider than your hips. Place your hands on your mat, at your shoulders with your palms down and fingers pointing towards your heels. Ground in your feet and on your INHALE lift your tail, lower back, and mid-back off the mat; EXHALE. INHALE, ground in your hands, pressing your palms into the mat below you to lift your shoulders away from the mat as well. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths; staying in the position longer as you build stamina and muscle strength. Let your breath guide your focus for the pose.
Keep your neck in a relaxed, neutral position, avoiding turning your head from side to side which can lead to neck strain.
Once completed, remember to counter wheel pose; my preference is to take a forward bend. As always, please feel free to comment below on any tips, hints, suggestions or questions you may have related to wheel pose.
~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~