IzziLizzi

pressing into wheel pose

7 posts in this topic

Hi! I am new to the YBC forum, and started practicing yoga a year or more ago. I am having trouble pressing into wheel pose. My back is quite flexible and I know I have the strength (I go to the gym regularly and lift weights) however something is preventing me from pressing into wheel pose. The furthest I get is resting the top of my head on the mat and I just can't go any further. I am trying my best not to get frustrated.. any tips are greatly appreciated!

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Me too! This is one I'm actively trying to master

At my class an instructor told me to take two blocks and put them shoulder width apart angled into the wall (similar to image, although I do it where the blocks are at a 45 degree angle). Putting your hands on the blocks (as opposed to next to my head) allows me to more easily (although, it's it's still not easy :) ) lift up

As this is a relatively difficult pose, you might consider having someone 'spot' you and help support you.

Are you practicing alone or in a class setting? 

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I am not a teacher, so I don't know the answer for sure. In my experience, wheel has a stretching/lengthening effect on the forearms, as well as putting some pressure on the wrists depending on how they are bent. Do you feel flexible enough in your shoulders/arms? Are your wrists and forearms strong?

Also, make sure you're getting into the pose correctly. Candace has a video for that here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDn8ldh7GWo

Is there a reason you feel you can't go further? Is it pain? Tightness? Weakness? If you're not sure, that would be something to explore. When you have your head on the ground, ready to press up, notice how you feel in the pose. What are the sensations in your body? What seems to be preventing you?

I know when I was first starting wheel pose, I didn't have the confidence in my wrists and forearms to hold me up, or the confidence that I wouldn't hurt my back. But with continued strengthening and lengthening in practice, it ended up working eventually.

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Thank you so much for sharing your advice and personal feelings on this pose. I am practicing alone, sometimes my boyfriend is around so he spots me occasionally. I do feel flexible enough in both shoulders and arms, and I feel my wrists and forearms are strong enough.. Maybe it's a mental block that's holding me back. When I do actually manage to push up (with help) it feels sort of unnatural (?) even though I would love to feel comfortable in the pose. I guess I just have to work on strengthening and lengthening (even more!) but am determined to master the pose. 

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Try the angled blocks at the wall, it makes it easier.

Without them, I'm not confident in my arms/shoulders so I give up after a few seconds, never having achieved a straight arm. When I use the blocks, I can get higher up and stay up for longer, although not too much higher nor a lot longer.

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Wheel pose is a fun asana, but it can be quite challenging. The more I worked on bridge pose and on opening my shoulders, the easier it got. Maybe I'd try to do mini push ups with your head on the mat, lifting your head a centimeter or two at the time rather than aim for the full pose all at once. I'd also try to make sure you're distributing the weight on the palm of hands evenly - that might make the action of pushing and lifting up easier.

Good luck!

KristiSmithYoga likes this

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Pushing up into wheel uses a unique group of muscles and requires them to work in a very particular way. The shoulders and the legs and the torso. Going to the gym and lifting weights may not be working the muscles in the same way that this pose requires. And then the other problem is, even more problems! , the muscles could be strong enough but they are just not activating properly to achieve the lift. Just have to keep practicing. 

These 2 videos are about the most detailed that you will ever find, and correct teaching.

Urdhva Dhanurasana with Laruga Glaser

Ashtanga Yoga, Urdhva Dhanurasana

 

KristiSmithYoga and LarryD517 like this

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