Chakrasana (Circle Pose)
Many acrobats demonstrate this Asana in the streets. Young boys can do this Asana very easily because their spine is very elastic. When the bones become rigid and ossified in advanced years, bending of the spine becomes difficult. It resembles a circle. Hence the significant name Chakrasana. In fact, it resembles more a bow than a circle.
Stand up. Raise the hands above in the air. Slowly bend towards the back making a curve of the body. When the hands come to your hip-level at the backside, slowly bend your legs at the knee. This will help you to bend further and to touch the ground with your hands. Do not be in a hurry. Do it slowly by adjusting balance. Otherwise, you will have a fall. Keep a thick blanket on the ground and over this, practise this Asana. In the beginning, you can do this by the side of a wall or you can ask your friend to catch hold of your hips firmly and then bend.
There is another way of doing the Asana. This is suitable for old people. There is no danger of falling at all. Lie down on the back. Keep the soles and palms on the ground. The palms must be kept by the side of your head and the elbow above. Now bring your heels near to your palms on the ground and raise your body above, thus making a curve of your spine. By continuous practice one can render the spine very elastic. Elasticity of spine means everlasting youth. A man with a rigid spine can form a semicircle at the outside. In the course of two weeks all the rigid parts will become elastic. You can catch hold of the heels with the hands when you do this Asana.
He who practises this Asana will have perfect control of the body. He will be agile and nimble. He can turn out more work in a short space of time. All the parts of the body are benefited by this Asana. If you find it difficult to keep the Asana for a long time, lie down flat on the ground, again lift it up. When you raise yourself upon this Asana the body will be light. You will get exhilaration of spirit at once. You will be ready for active work. If there is any pain in the neck and shoulders after the practice of Sarvangasana, do this Asana immediately for a few minutes. It will relieve the pain as it bends the neck backwards and thus it is a counter-pose to Sarvangasana. All the other benefits of Dhanurasana, Salabhasana and Bhujangasana are derived from this Asana.