YOGA ALIGNMENT: FULL WHEEL POSE
Yoga alignment for Full Wheel Pose is anything but simple, but achieving an easeful expression of the posture in your body is most definitely attainable. We just have to break through some of the alignment myths that many teachers have been taught are “correct”.
Let’s quickly discuss the name of this posture because it has many. Wheel Pose is usually translated as “Chakrasana” because it opens ALL the energy centers. The posture is also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana which translates to Upward Facing Bow Pose. Many backbends in the yoga posture are either named Bow or after a type of Bow. Moving forward, I will use any of these names when discussing my suggestions regarding the alignment for full wheel pose.
Debunking the 3 Myths
What you may have been taught is the correct Yoga Alignment for Full Wheel Pose:
Hug your elbows in. Do not activate the glutes. Tuck your tailbone.
These are cues used often to move a student into wheel pose, but are they helpful? I don’t think so.
Wheel pose, Chakrasana is a very active and advanced pose. It requires extreme flexibility AND strength of the hips, shoulders, and wrists. Flexibility is required along the front body, and strength is required along the back body. The good news is, with disciplined practice and a healthy dose of body awareness, this powerful heart-opening extension pose can be accessible to many.
We need to clear some things up so you can start practicing the best alignment for your full wheel pose. Meaning, you may have some things to UNLEARN before you can dive deeply into your practice. Yoga teachers, please take a breath. You are not a bad teacher if you have said any of the following to your students – we are all in the process of learning and developing our skills as practitioners and teachers. Instead, celebrate that you are here, curious and ready to learn.
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I look forward to sharing this practice with you and helping you develop in a big way!
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THE LIVE IMMERISONS
Matt‘s classes are phenomenal. If you ever have the ability to practice with him, make use of it!! He has a very unique talent of combining anatomy, yoga philosophy, and his own perspective into a super intense package of knowledge which is fun AND easy to understand. I enjoyed the April immersion a lot as it was a great way of deepening my own practice and broadening my horizon, especially as the lifetime access allows you to take classes as often as you want. Trust me, you will want to take them again! I can’t wait for next month’s classes and highly recommend everyone to take the next pass and join in on the journey.
Matt’s April pass was a journey. It was more than just the physical exploration of my practice but also helped me explore my spiritual practice. It was very nice to have a consistent practice during this time of uncertainty. If you are looking for a practice to ground yourself, I would highly recommend exploring the Live Immersion of the Month.
Covid-19 brought Matt into my home and my yoga practice. This last month I have learned so much. It has deepened my practice and my understanding of anatomy & biomechanics and how we use both in every asana we practice. He has also helped in my teaching, i.e. asking my students to think about the foot as a tripod “big toe, pinkie toe, heel.” I never imagined I would learn so much from the immersion.
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