How to Do Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose & its Benefits, Contraindications, Tips

Understanding the Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose!

Chakki Chalanasana gets its name from Sanskrit where “Chakki” means “Mill”, “Chalan” means “Churn” and “Asana” mans “Pose” or “Posture.”

Your body appears like you are churning a mill while practicing this asana, and hence the name Chakki Chalanasana.

The English name of Chakki Chalanasana is called Churning the Mill Yoga Pose. This yoga pose massages your spine. It also tends to keep your spine supple and flexible and can help you sleep better. It helps reduce drowsiness and makes you feel energetic the whole day.

Like other asanas, it is considered best when The Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose is practiced early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice it in the morning, you can practice this yoga pose in the evening as well. Mornings are preferred as the food is digested and your body has the energy to perform the asanas. But make sure that when you are practicing The Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose in the evening, you should have your food five to six hours before you practice as your food takes this much time to digest.

You may feel a little awkward while practicing The Churning the Mill Yoga Pose initially but as you keep doing it consistently, you will start enjoying it and will reap its benefits eventually.

Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

How to Do the Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

There are two stages of practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.

Stage 1 of Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose:

  • To practice Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose, sit with the legs stretched out in front of the body on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Make sure that you keep your feet about one foot apart.
  • Interlock the fingers of both hands and hold the arms out straight in front of the chest while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • Keep the arms straight and horizontal throughout while practicing this yoga pose.
  • Make sure that you do not bend the elbows while practicing this asana.
  • Bend forward as far as possible to get into the final Chakki Chalanasana.
  • Imagine the action of churning a mill with an old-fashioned stone grinder like it was done in earlier times while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • Swivel to the right so that the hands pass above the right toes and as far to the right as possible.
  • Lean back as far as possible on the backward swing while practicing Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • Try to move the body from the waist when you are churning the mill.
  • On the forward swing, bring the arms and hands to the left side, over the left toes and then back to the centre position while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • One such rotation completes one round of Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • Practice 5 to 10 rounds of this yoga pose clockwise and then the same number of rounds anti-clockwise.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • After the practice, rest your body in Shavasana for 1-2 minutes.

Stage 2 of Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose:

  • In the same sitting position, while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose, separate the legs as wide as possible.
  • Make sure that you are keeping your legs straight.
  • Start making large, circular movements over both feet and try again to take the hands over the toes on the forward swing and coming as far back as possible on the backward swing while practicing this yoga pose.
  • Practice 10 to 15 rounds of Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose in each direction.
  • Breathing Pattern to Be Followed While Practicing the Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose
  • Inhale and exhale deeply while lying In Shavasana initially.
  • Inhale while separating the legs from each other while getting into Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • Maintain a normal breath in this pose.
  • Inhale while leaning back when doing this asana
  • Exhale while moving forward when practicing Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • Exhale deeply after releasing the pose and coming back to Shavasana.

Preaparatory and Follow Up Poses to Be Practiced With Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses to be practiced before Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose are Dandasana or The Staff Pose, Rajju Karshanasana or Pulling the Rope Pose, Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose, Matsyasana (with the legs stretched out) or The Fish Pose, Ushtrasana or The Camel pose and Bhujangasana or The Cobra Pose.

Follow Up Poses: The various follow up poses or Pranayamas to be practiced after Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose are Anulom Vilom or The Alternate Nostril Breathing, Kapalbhati Pranayama, Vajrasana or The Diamond pose, Uttanasana or The Standing Forward Bend Pose, Nauka Sanchalanasana or Rowing the Boat Pose.

Awareness While Practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

Physical Awareness – The Physical Awareness while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose should be on the back the twisting movement and the effect on the spinal vertebrae, on the breath, movement and lower back, hips and pelvic area.

Spiritual Awareness – The Spiritual Awareness while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose should be on Manipura chakra or The Solar Plexus Chakra which helps in distributing positive energy in the body. The primary energetic focus in Yoga Mudrasana is on Manipura chakra, or the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Benefits of Practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

  • One of the benefits of Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose is that it helps in overcoming the drowsiness and stiffness felt on waking in the morning.
  • This yoga pose gives a good massage to your vertebrae and you will feel an invigorating sensation in your vertebrae while practicing Churning the Mill Yoga Pose.
  • This yoga pose is beneficial in making your spine flexible and also helps in improving your posture. It also helps in reducing symptoms of old age from your body.
  • Chakki Chalanasana also helps in treating insomnia and allows you to sleep soundly.
  • Churning the Mill Yoga Pose helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, allows more awareness of the unconscious realms and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of this Yoga Pose.
  • It also is beneficial in alleviating stress and curing mild depression.
  • Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose helps in strengthening all the core muscles of the body.
  • It also helps in increasing the strength and stamina of the body.
  • Chakki Chalanasana also helps in increasing the body’s resistance to back, hip and leg injuries.
  • It is also beneficial in relieving joint pain from the entire body.
  • This yoga pose also helps in getting rid of extra fat from the belly when practiced regularly.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

  • Get out of the pose or release the pose if you feel a sudden sharp and shooting pain in your legs.
  • Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose should not be practiced by pregnant females in the second and third trimester of their pregnancy.
  • Churning the Mill Yoga Pose should also not performed by people who have had any recent abdominal or hip surgeries in the recent past. However, you can practice this
  • Yoga Pose if you have completely been healed from the surgery.
  • Chakki Chalanasana should not be performed by people who have chronic spinal issues or spinal conditions like Slip Disc etc.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing this asana and always practice it under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • People with a very weak Sacro Iliac Joint are also not supposed to practice this yoga pose.
  • Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose should not be practiced by people suffering from The Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
  • Get out of the pose or release the pose if you feel a sudden sharp and shooting pain in your legs or abdomen.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing this yoga pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.

Tips While Practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose

  • Always try to keep your feet as far as possible from each other when you start practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose. Gradually with consistent practice, you can also start doing the Roll Downs with your feet and knees together. The advanced practitioners can do it since it is a little difficult to practice in the beginning.
  • Feel free to keep your feet flat against the wall while doing this yoga pose.
  • You can also experiment by keeping your arms at different levels around your legs.
  • Always remain aware of the breathing pattern while practicing Churning the Mill Yoga Pose to reap maximum benefits from the practice.
  • Do not force the twist if your body can not take it while practicing this pose as you may end up damaging any other muscle while exerting excessive stress on the body.
  • By adjusting the distance of the feet from the hips while practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose, you can work on each vertebra and the corresponding muscles.
  • While practicing Chakki Chalanasana or Churning the Mill Yoga Pose, if you are not able to rest your knees on the ground easily, place your knees and feet on a large pillow.

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