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Hatha Yoga

CHAKRASANA – THE WHEEL – All levels, with variations

Beginner position:  Lie on your back with knees bent and parallel although keep the knees apart. The feet are about hip width apart, and the feet flat on the mat. The feet are close to the body, hold the ankles. Take a deep breath and continue breathing deeply and rhythmically.
Inhale and push up the hips as high as you can, while keeping head, shoulders and feet on the mat.  Hold for a couple of deep rhythmical breaths and then lower the hips slowly with control back to the mat. Relax on your back with bent knees, hugging knees to chest.

Intermediate position: To take the asana to the next level, bend the arms backward and place palms of your hands on the mat next to your ears with fingers facing shoulders.  It is important not to have the hands far from the head and shoulders.  Keep the feet flat on the mat with bent knees. Inhale, lift hips and push on the hands to lift the head. Gently place the top of the head on the floor. Elbows are pointing backward and arms are bent. Hands remain where they are. Either remain here for a few breaths before lowering head and neck and then hips back on mat or rest briefly here and go to full pose.

Full pose: On another inhalation, straighten the arms to lift the body up. The head is now lifted up. Look toward the mat. Extend legs as much as possible so body is in arched wheel shape. The feet are parallel and flat on the mat. If difficult to straighten arms to come into full pose, you can balance on the toes and then straighten arms, then lower heels. To come out of pose, bend arms, release head and neck carefully back on the mat then hips. Hold wheel pose only long enough that you have strength to come out of the pose carefully, lowering neck gently to mat.


  • Increases the muscle strength and flexibility of the back, arms and legs in this dynamic backbend.
  • Increases sense of balance.
  • In full pose stimulates all the energy Centres.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Things are dear, because the Self is mirrored in them. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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MOHA: infatuation or delusion; subtle desires leading to egoism

The ignorance that prevents the understanding of Truth; the obstacle(s) of the Truth. In the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” Moha is described as infatuation of the material that clouds the mind in search of Truth. Hatha Yoga is seen as one method of overcoming these obstacles to the Truth.

A pure heart is necessary to know the Will of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda