Wheel Pose Variation

This is a Wheel pose variation that I like to practice when I feel like I need to stretch out my chest and shoulders.  Much of the same benefits can be achieved in traditional Wheel pose, (where your feet are firmly planted on the ground), but I like to walk my feet up sometimes because it feels good for my body.  It is not a common variation and lots could go wrong, if it’s not done properly.  As such, it’s very important to educate yourself on how to be physically and mentally ready for the pose so it can be practiced properly and safely.

This variation and traditional Wheel take strength in the shoulders and core.  You can really get a two for one with the posture—it deeply stretches the front of the body and can help strengthen it at the same time.  I would consider Wheel pose, in general, to be a definite heart-opening pose.  Specifically, I feel like it helps to release pent up emotions in the heart space.  For me, practicing this pose can be emotionally therapeutic.

As Wheel can be challenging, it is important to thoroughly educate yourself on the elements of the pose before practicing.  Also, if the pose is new to you, you should practice with a trained yoga practitioner who can help safely guide you through it.  Here is a good article on how to practice Wheel (also called Upward Facing Bow) https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/upward-bow-or-wheel-pose/

If Wheel pose is not the right pose for you, some alternatives to Wheel include Cobra, Bridge and Camel pose.  I think that similar benefits can be achieved by practicing those postures, as well, if they feel good for your body and you can do so safely.