Frustrating - I do have upper body strength, but in the wrong way. I swim and surf so paddling I'm quite good at. It's the push-ups that I'm not good at, particularly when it's a backwards push-up to get into wheel. I'm flexible enough to do the backbend (I've been in wheel supported by someone else) but I just don't have the strength to pop myself up. And there doesn't seem to be any equivalent type of exercise that works the muscles in that particular way. Advice?
So Similiar!. I have exactly the same problem. I am fit and healthy, strong and flexible. Yet, I find wheel pose so difficult, especially in Ashtanga where you need to do it three times in a row. However, I will say that I am getting better at it, it's becoming easier and I am able to do three in a row, although not as perfect and struggle free as I want. Maybe the answer to being able to do the wheel is to just do the wheel everyday!
it's like anything we do. Like anything we do, I've found that yoga poses take time. While it seems like it'll never happen, suddenly one day I've sunken into a pose or managed to do a pose with an ease I've never experienced before. Part of the challenge of yoga, I've found, is finding the patience to wait for it to come, working toward one single goal via time, breath, and repeated flowing movement. I had a yoga teacher who taught us little-by-little, telling us it might take the whole summer to perfect a certain pose and it just might take longer and sometimes poses sneak up on you and just happen. It just happens so unexpectedly. I guess that's the beauty of yoga; it's full of unanticipated twists!
Wheel, wheel, and more wheel. I agree with Sheryl. To build the muscles for wheel, you just need to do it. I think it's okay though, because it's a balance between flexibility and strength. The more flexible your spine in this pose, the less strength it takes to hold you up. The more balanced you are (using leg strength) the less you rely on arm strength.