Try this 3-step approach to work your way from Handstand into Wheel Pose.
This is part II of working Chakrasana or Wheel Pose. The ultimate goal of this posture is to pike into Handstand from Downward-Facing Dog and let the legs fall over from Handstand into Upward-Facing Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana). A breath can happen to set up or you bounce right back up into handstand and over into Downward Facing Dog. They often referred to as Tick-Tocks and are quite the advanced procedure. Our last challenge blog broke down Upward Facing Wheel into kicking over through Handstand. Today we tackle kicking back up into Handstand and walking down the wall into the backbend. Please refer to last week's challenge pose before tackling this one as you'll need to start this sequence with the Part I. Pick up the end of Part I with step one below and enjoy!
The key to making this kick up successful sticking your landing position from kicking over (see Part I). The natural tendency is to kick over and readjust your hands closer to the wall. If your feet were previously against the wall and you kicked over it means they'll hit them again on the way back. Trust that. The hardest part to move past is the intimidation factor so don't look towards the wall. Just keep your regular handstand drisit (gaze) slightly forward of your fingertips. Lift your dominate leg as you check to make sure your arms are still straight and shoulders stacking over your wrists. Bend your base leg to kick up as if you were going into a normal handstand. The difference: let your dominate leg continue to reach beyond your hips in the air until it reaches the wall. Don't freak out! You'll get more air time than normal and you might feel like you're 'falling' but just think 'reaching'. You'll hit the wall, trust that! This is the confidence you need to go over. If this is scary please have someone spot you here by holding their hand under your lower back the entire time.
Take a breath once your dominate leg hits the wall. Slowly extend your second leg over to meet the wall as well. Take the feet hip width apart and soles of the feet flat. Reinforce the straightening of the arms! They'll want to buckle here, so keep your serratus muscles engaged and upper outer arms rolling in. Relax your head and gaze (you're looking away from the wall). Bend both of your knees slightly (arms are still straight) and remove your dominate foot from the wall. Reach that foot down the wall until you reach the floor. The more you bend the top leg the easier it is to find the ground. Again, don't panic! This is such a mental exercise. Keep breathing and be patient.
Once your dominate foot touches down reach your second foot down to the ground as well. Keep your feet hip width apart—toes in, heels out. Roll your upper outer thighs down towards the ground and keep the outer upper edges of the arms wrapping in around the bone. You've made it!! Keep practicing at the wall until this becomes light and easy and then we'll progress towards two legs at a time and working in the middle of the room.
ABOUT KATHRN BUDIG
Kathryn Budig is jet-setting yoga teacher who teaches online at Yogaglo. She is the Contributing Yoga Expert for Women’s Health Magazine, Yogi-Foodie for MindBodyGreen, creator of Gaiam’s Aim True Yoga DVD, co-founder of Poses for Paws and author of Rodale’s The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga . Follow her on Twitter; Facebook;Instagram or on her website.