How to Drop Back Pose Into Wheel Pose

Drop Back Pose Into Wheel Pose or Drop Back Pose Backbend Yoga Pose - sharpmuscle
8 min read
Updated: April 18, 2023

Drop Back Pose Into Wheel Pose is a backbend advance variation of wheel pose, which you started in standing position, bending yourself backwards, bending your hands upward, dropping into the upward-facing bow pose and then standing back.

Drop back into wheel pose increases strength in the spine, hips, legs, abdomen, wrists, and arms while expanding your lungs and chest.

The Drop back term usually describes the transitional movement of lagging in space between Mountain pose (Tadasana) and Upward bow pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) – which is perfect for exploring the notion of process in yoga because “pose” It is a process in itself.


Known as:Drop Back Pose into Wheel Pose, Urdhva Dhanurasana Chakrasana, Wheel Pose from Standing, Standing Backbend into Upward Bow Pose, Standing Drop Back into Upward Bow Pose, Drop Back Wheel Pose, Standing Wheel Pose
Sanskrit name:ऊर्ध्व धनुरासन चक्रासन
IAST:Ūrdhva Dhanurāsana Chakrāsana
Pronunciation:OOR-dh-vuh dha-nuh-RAH-suh-nuh chuh-kruh-SUH-nuh
Level:Intermediate to advanced
Focus:Chest, shoulders, hips, arms, legs, core
Total time:30 to 60 seconds
Drishti:Towards the fingers;
Towards the ceiling
Chakra:Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra), Throat Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra), Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura Chakra), Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana Chakra), Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
Indications:Arms, shoulders, back, glutes, legs, spine, hamstrings, quadriceps, flexibility, internal organs, digestive, respiratory, reproductive systems, fatigue, stress
Counterposes:Child’s Pose (Balasana), Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana), Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana), Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Preparatory poses:Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), Camel Pose (Ustrasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Follow-up poses:Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana), Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana), Plow Pose (Halasana), Shoulderstand Pose (Sarvangasana), Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
Contraindications:Back pain, neck injuries, shoulder injuries, wrist injuries, high blood pressure or low blood pressure, pregnancy


The Drop Back Pose into Wheel Pose, also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana Chakrasana, is a combination of two poses that have their own meanings.

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Urdhva Dhanurasana means upward facing bow pose, where ‘urdhva‘ means upward, ‘dhanu‘ means bow and ‘asana‘ means pose. In this pose, the body is arched in a shape resembling a bow. It is believed to stimulate the heart chakra and open up the chest and shoulders, promoting feelings of love, compassion, and joy.

Chakrasana means wheel pose, where ‘chakra‘ means wheel and ‘asana‘ means pose. This pose is believed to activate the energy centers or chakras in the body, particularly the heart and throat chakras, and to promote feelings of courage, strength, and self-expression.

By combining these two poses, the Drop Back Pose into Wheel Pose is believed to promote a sense of openness, courage, and self-expression, while also stimulating the heart chakra and promoting feelings of love and compassion. It is a challenging pose that requires both strength and flexibility, but can be a rewarding addition to a yoga practice when performed mindfully and with proper alignment.

Step-by-step Drop Back Pose Into Wheel Pose

Step-1: Warm-up

  1. To warm up for Drop back pose, start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
  2. Do several rounds of cat-cow poses, coordinating each movement with your breath.
  3. From there, do three to five rounds of Surya Namaskar A and B to generate heat throughout your body.

Step-2: Sequence to open the hips and shoulders

  1. Start with Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose) on your right, then go to Virbhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I).
  2. Bring your left knee to the floor, and extend your arms to Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge Pose).
  3. Bring your fingers to the ground and tuck your left knee to come to your right Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana).
  4. Get into full posture by pressing your hands behind your back.
  5. After several breaths, bring your hands into the Anjali Mudra (salutation seal), bend forward, and turn to the right.
  6. After five deep breaths, move your hands forward and come down to the Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing dog pose).
  7. Exhale and come to the Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), inhale the Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Up-facing dog pose), then return to the Downward-facing dog pose.
  8. Hold for five breaths, then jump forward and do this sequence to your left.
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Tip: Take five breaths in each pose.

Step-3: Drop Back Into Wheel Pose

  • Start in a standing position with your feet placed directly under your hips. Bring your hands to the heart center.
  • Raise your chin and chest up until your gaze is towards the ceiling.
  • As your head falls back, and you continue to extend your spine in an inverted C-shape, counter by allowing your hips to move forward.
  • Once you can see the floor behind you, move your hands toward the mat until your arms are fully extended, and then bring your palms down, coming in the wheel posture.

Step-4: Engage

Press into all the four corners of your feet, and stay strong in your feet.

Step-5: Anatomy notes, tips, and tricks

  • It is normal to feel fear and apprehension when attempting a drop back pose. To help reduce this, use a spotter or practice the pose with an assistance of a wall. Keep your feet an arm’s distance from the wall.
  • Once you reach the point where your head falls back, place your hands against the wall with your palms flat and your fingers facing the floor. Move your hands down to the floor.
  • Once you get comfortable dropping back, try to stand up. Start by rocking back and forth to move more weight on your legs. Build some momentum with rocking until you can lift your hands off the floor and come to stand. The last thing to raise is your head. Bringing it to you too early can damage the balance.
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Precautions and contraindications

The Drop Back Pose into Wheel Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana Chakrasana is an advanced pose that requires a lot of strength and flexibility. It may not be suitable for everyone, and there are some precautions and contraindications that should be considered before attempting this yoga pose, which are explained below:

  1. Precautions:
    • Warm-up: Warming up the body is important before attempting this pose, as it helps to prepare the muscles and joints for the intensity of the backbend. Failing to warm up can increase the risk of injury, especially to the shoulders, wrists, and back.
    • Gradual practice: This pose is challenging and requires a lot of strength and flexibility. Practicing it gradually and with proper alignment can help to reduce the risk of injury and allow the body to gradually build up the strength and flexibility required for the pose.
    • Pre-existing injuries or conditions: If you have any injuries or conditions that affect the spine, shoulders, wrists, or hips, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting this pose. Certain conditions or injuries can be exacerbated by the pose, and modifications may need to be made to ensure safety.
    • Soft surface: Practicing this pose on a soft surface, such as a yoga mat, can help to cushion the impact of the backbend and protect the spine. A hard surface can increase the risk of injury to the spine and other parts of the body.
  1. Contraindications:
    • Pregnancy: This pose is not recommended for pregnant women as it can put too much pressure on the abdominal area and lead to complications. The pose can also increase the risk of falling, which can be dangerous during pregnancy.
    • Back injuries or spinal conditions: Those with a history of back injuries or spinal conditions, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis, should avoid this pose as it can exacerbate these conditions. The backbend can put too much pressure on the spine and cause further damage.
    • Wrist or shoulder injuries or conditions: If you have wrist or shoulder injuries or conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or rotator cuff injuries, you should avoid this pose or modify it to avoid putting too much pressure on these areas. The weight of the body is supported by the wrists and shoulders during the pose, which can exacerbate existing injuries or conditions.

Benefits of Drop Back Into Wheel Pose

Here are the benefits of ‘Drop back in wheel pose’, and if you are healthy and capable:

  • It can stimulate the pituitary and thyroid glands while increasing your energy.
  • It is used therapeutically to treat back issues, asthma, and infertility.
  • Increases strength in your spine, hips, legs, abdomen, wrists, and arms while expanding your lungs and chest.
  • The other amazing benefit is that you are likely to focus so much on your upper body that you are getting a great strong workout for your lower body, that too without notice!
  • When you practice your ‘drop back into wheel pose’, you work with all your stationary muscles as well as large muscle groups, which makes this routine a complete physical training movement.

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