A healthy, integrated wheel pose involves the entire body, and before moving into this posture or other challenging backbends, we need to be warm. We need to mobilise our spine, and also to stretch our quadriceps, hip flexors, side bodies and shoulders.
As well as stretching and creating space and mobility, we need to add support. The lower back, neck and shoulders are all vulnerable areas. They have great mobility, but not so much stability, which means they need to be protected by active muscular engagement and mindful movement. So, once we’ve done a thorough job of preparing our bodies and we’re ready to rise into Urdhva dhanurasana, we need to stay aware, present, and connected to our body as we move into the asana, as we hold it, and as we release from it.