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You Can Do It! How to Make Wheel Pose Part of Your Practice

Apr 25 2014 - 12:38pm

When you first hit up Vinyasa-style yoga classes, the beautiful back-bending Wheel Pose feels miles away. This pose requires both flexibility and strength, but it's absolutely within your reach. Add these essential poses to your practice, and build up to a strong, confident, and safe backbend.

Source: Laughing River Yoga

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Upward Facing Dog is not as easy as it appears! This chest-opening pose requires ample arm strength to lift your hips up and away from your mat. If you're working up to Wheel, this is one of the first poses you need to master.

Learn details about Upward Facing Dog Pose [4] here.

Source: Laughing River Yoga

Bow Pose

While it doesn't require upper-body strength, Bow Pose will increase flexibility in your spine, open up your chest and shoulders, and massage a stressed belly. I know what you're thinking: it looks a lot like an upside-down Wheel.

If you need more details, check out how to do Bow Pose here [5].

Source: Laughing River Yoga

Camel Pose

If tight hip flexors are holding you back from pressing up into a Full Wheel comfortably, Camel Pose is an important pose to add to your home practice. In addition to helping out tight hips, it increases flexibility in your shoulders and lower back.

Read on for more details about correct alignment in Camel Pose [6].

Source: Laughing River Yoga

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose is a gentle inversion that increases flexibility in any beginner yogi's spine. It stretches out a tight, compressed torso and has a surprisingly calming effect on your whole body.

To make the most of this heart opener, check out these tips to build a better Bridge [7].

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [8]

Backbend Prep

Here's the last step before you take on a Full Wheel. As you start feeling more confident in your upper-body strength, push on your palms and play around with lifting the crown of your head off the mat. Just be sure to come back down slowly with caution!

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Wheel Pose

Once your spine is feeling flexible, your arms have grown strong, and you're ready to challenge yourself, the time has come to try out a Full Wheel Pose.

Here's what not to do in Wheel Pose [9].

Source: Laughing River Yoga

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