Chakrasana comes from the Sanskrit “chakra”, which means “wheel”, and “asana”, which means “posture” or “seat.” Chakrasana may also be referred to simply as wheel pose or wheel. Chakrasana is also sometimes known by an alternative Sanskrit name, urdhva dhanurasana, which means upward-facing bow pose. The name of this pose comes from “urdhva” meaning “upward”, “dhanu” meaning “bow” and “asana” meaning “posture” or “seat”.
To come into full wheel, begin lying on the floor with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, near enough that your fingertips can graze your heels, and set them hip width apart. Bring your palms to the floor beside your ears, fingers pointing back towards your feet. Draw your elbows towards each other to form a box with your shoulders, press down through both hands and feet as you lift your body up into your wheel. Once up, start to gently press away with the feet, almost as though you want to straighten your legs, gently rocking your chest back and trying to get your armpits over your wrists. Come down slowly, either tucking your chin in and curling the spine, or else resting momentarily on the crown of your head before tucking in the chin and curling down. I often lift my heels off the ground to lengthen and create space in the lower back before my descent.