This effervescent asana juxtaposes the breathtaking lift of the upper body with the grounding support of the forearms and feet. Generally, backbends are known for their energizing effect as well as for opening the muscles in the front body to make space for the heart and strengthening muscles in the back body to improve posture.
The chest is usually too tight, and the spine is not flexible enough to achieve this pose. Use the safety tips below to bend deeper (without breaking) into the Wheel Pose.
Sit down and meditate to build a strong foundation for your spine.
It will take some practice to safely perform Forearm Wheel Pose if you are used to sitting hunched at a desk or if your shoulders naturally fall forward. Sitting in meditation for five to ten minutes each day can help you build spine strength, which is necessary to perform any backbend safely.
Gentle neck and spine rolling will increase the suppleness of the body in the Forearm Wheel Pose after meditating.
Use Virasana (back body) to protect your lower back and engage the back.
Virasana, or the Hero Pose, requires that the body learn the internal rotation of the thighs. This engages your back body properly and protects your lower back. The pose also stretches your ankles and legs. The hands are tested, and the heart is opened by practicing Paschima Namaskarasana. Hold this pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
Practice modified Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose) (see above photo) with blocks in a T-shape. (One block rests at medium height along the shoulders, and another block is at the highest level under the head.) And keep your arms raised overhead. If your hands don’t touch the floor, you can use another block.
Modify! Ardha Supta Virasana is a good alternative if it’s difficult to keep your knees together or rotate the thighs inward. Rest here for 5-10 easy and slow breaths.
To prevent shoulder, arm, and back pain, practice the modified Extended Puppy Pose in the Forearm Wheel pose.
Forearm Wheel Pose can be painful if you have tight shoulders, upper arms, or back.
Two blocks placed shoulder-distance apart can be used to modify Uttana Shishosana. Place your elbows on the blocks about a third way and melt the heart. Press the palms together gently to get a deeper stretch and more intense stretch of the upper back and shoulder. You will feel resistance at different points on your body depending on where you are.
If possible, hold for 2-3 minutes, starting with as many slow breaths as you can. If possible, hold for 2-3 minutes. Start with as many deep breaths as possible.
Do a Forearm Plank to strengthen your core and protect your lower back.
The forearm/Dolphin Plank Pose is the same as the Forearm Wheel Pose. The thighs must be lifted, and the legs straightened. A block placed between the thighs can enhance this movement by engaging the inner thighs.
Find comfort in preparatory positions like Bridge and Wheel before moving on.
Slow down and try practicing with a block underneath the hips if it’s still difficult to lift your hips into Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Focus on the alignment of the legs with a block supporting some of the weight.
Remove the block once breathing in Bridge Pose becomes easier. Then, move to Urdhva Dhanurasana. Practice lifting by pressing down on the hands and feet. Ustrasana, or the Camel Pose, and Dhanurasana, or the Bow Pose, are also great poses to prepare for.
Forearm Wheel Pose
You can now start to practice this powerful asana. Are you ready for Forearm Wheel Pose yet? It’s time to go!