Fear and Chakrasana


So I’ve been practising ashtanga yoga for, well on and off about ten years. Sometimes more off than on. I started before that with Iyengar (a great base for learning alignment), and then settled on the ashtanga vinyasa style. One thing I’ve never conquered my fear of is chakrasana, or the backwards roll. Perhaps it’s because, for the last ten years, I’ve been living in flats with small lounges, so the fear is partly that I will crash into something as I go backwards. But last weekend on the mat, I thought ‘d give it a go. I got into plough pose, and then put my hands under my shoulders, but…nothing. No leverage. I wondered what I was doing wrong. Perhaps it’s memories of school gym classes, but it must be over twenty five years since I last did any sort of backwards roll. And those knees-bent ones at school were infinitely easier.

Kino MacGregor explains three stages of doing chakrasana here. I just tried the first method, of going into plough, then going back to bent knees and I managed it, alright I wobbled to the side a bit but I made it over. I think the fear is that I will hurt my neck. I’ll try the bent-knees method again next time I’m on the mat…watch this space…


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