6 Days to Wheel Pose - Guest Post by Stef

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 Hello Friends! I have another fun guest post for you all. This is my friend Stef who is also doing the #posebypose yoga challenge with me. She has written a great post on how to get your wheel pose. Check it out and give Stef a warm welcome. (:


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I’m Stef, and I am here to let you in on the inner thoughts behind my top 5 choices for poses to help strengthen and enhance your Wheel Pose.
 
This month I was fortunate enough to host another yoga challenge together with four other wonderful yoginis, Karel, Rebecca, Cat and Chante. For #PoseByPose October we each picked an ‘end goal’ pose and have the 5 days before that to share some great preparatory poses to assist in performing the final pose. It really is a wonderful idea because often we can have the desire to achieve a certain pose right away, but actually breaking down our end goal asana into smaller pieces and working each day to strengthen our body for that particular pose is a wonderful journey and teaches us the importance of the process in our practice.

Please take these poses to your own level, and if you have any injuries seek advice or medical clearance before attempting!

#1: Cobra Pose / Bhujangasana 



Why: As we work towards wheel pose, it’s important to practice bending and strengthening our back, and cobra does exactly that!


Tips and tricks: As well as keeping your core and back active, engage your glutes to help protect your lower back, also keep your shoulders back and down.


#2: Upward Facing Dog Pose / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana



Why: Upward Facing Dog is a natural progression from Cobra as it gives a deeper back bend.



Tips and tricks: Pull your shoulder blades back to really feel the strength developing in your back, the curve of your back should be smooth, not a harsh bend, so keep working at it.

#3: Camel Pose / Ustrasana




Why: it’s another gentle step up in back bending from the previous Cobra and Upward Facing Dog, also, it is wonderful for opening up the front of the body in preparation for Wheel.

Tips and tricks: If you can’t reach your feet yet, you can tuck your toes, use a yoga block or hold onto the legs of a chair behind you.


#4: Bridge Pose / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana 




Why: This asana mimics the motion of Wheel without the same degree of strength, it’s a wonderful pose that strengthens the back body as well as opening the front body and can take on many different variations.
 
Tips and tricks: Whatever you do, please do not move your neck while in this asana, if you need to look to either side of you, get out of this pose first also keep your glutes engaged and don’t let your hips drop – try and keep them elevated.


#5: Standing Back Bend / Anuvittasana



  

Why: We are so so close to performing Wheel, and a Standing Back Bend the last building block before Wheel.

Tips and tricks: Don’t let your head fall back if it isn’t comfortable for you and make sure your body stays even and aligned.


#6: Wheel Pose / Urdhva Dhanurasana 



Why:  We’ve put together all the building blocks and now we have made Wheel Pose!
 

Wheel pose is wonderful for stretching and opening the whole front body, as well as strengthening your lower back, glutes and hamstrings.

Namaste.







Thanks for reading my post! Let me know your experiences with #PoseByPose, or any other feedback in the comments section below. If you want to keep up with my busy life of fitness, yoga, healthy eating, work, university and more then you can find me here: http://healthyhappymotivation.tumblr.com/


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