Usual challenges for wheel are a combination of upper body strength and tightness in shoulders and pecs. Yogachris' stretch suggestion is a good one. Camel is great, because increases range in shoulders and pecs.
If you would like a safe experience of what wheel feels like that does not challenge upper body strength, lie face up on an exercise ball, arms overhead by ears (elbows bent) and then S L O W L Y push with feet (absolutely leave feet on floor). Roll backwards with control. Eventually you may be able to place palms of hands on the floor.
If you can roll back and touch floor with hands without discomfort in arms, shoulders and pecs, you have the range of motion for the posture.
The ball used this way can be a lot of fun and gives your body many of the inversion benefits. Hope this is useful. Cindy
Pounds lost: 6.0
Fitness Minutes: (317) Posts: 12 6/20/12 8:00 A
I can hang out in bridge all day. Actually love the pose, but I cant get into wheel at all. I thought it was because I didnt have the upper body strength to push myself up (I can only get to the crown of my head right now)
But my teacher, did some body reading on me and saw that I am super tight in my pecs and shoulders and until I really loosen up my whole upper chest, its preventing me from rising up into wheel.
He suggested I do field goal post stretches along the wall, to stretch out my pecs, etc. I dont know if this is the same issue for you or not. You can stand against a wall, with one arm up and bend like a field goal post. You want your elbow in line with your right shoulder and the hand straight up at a 90 degree angle from your elbow. Slowly start to move your body away from the wall, rolling onto the ball of the right shoulder. You should start to feel it along your pec area. Only roll away from the wall while its comfortable. If it feels like its too much back off. Then switch and do the left shoulder.
Ive been working on that and hope to get into wheel soon.
Ah, but you *are* doing additional good. The thing is, "advanced" poses are natural outgrowths of the 'basic' poses. I went to a beginner's yoga class for several years when I first started doing yoga. There would be 30 people on the first day, and about 3 by the end of the 12-week session. So I spent weeks doing basic poses, then when only the die-hards were left, we would do advanced poses. And every 12 weeks, I'd be amazed at the progress I'd made!
Actually I have dance workshop coming up in November being lead by a yoga/dance instructor who would be covering the mechanics of a backbend. I suppose I could be patient for a little longer, but I just don't feel like I'm doing any additional good.
Oh, you are at a very fun point in your physical practice! Here's my take - if there is any way possible, go to a yoga workshop on backbends with an experienced teacher, or arrange a private lesson. Doing backbends without proper alignment can, over time, lead to chronic back pain, disk compression, etc... You look young, so you could probably go years without noticing any problem - but why not start out right?
I've been following a particular yoga routine to help improve backbends in my dance practice. The DVD goes through a sequence of poses that lead up to Urdhva Dhanurasana, such as Bridge, Cow, Upward Facing Dog all of which I can do with no problem. But when it comes to Wheel pose I'm just not sure if I'm ready. How easy do the other poses have to before I'm ready for it.
Do any of you have any tips that help you know when you're ready for a more advanced pose? Or any tips for me should I try it this weekend?
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