Yoga is a great way to stay flexible, strong, and energized. But sometimes, finding ways to take your practice to the next level can take time and effort. That’s where a yoga wheel comes in. A yoga wheel is an invaluable tool for helping you stretch, strengthen and revitalize your body through yoga. With its round shape and firm but cushioned structure, the wheel allows you to deepen your stretches safely and comfortably. Not only does it help you stretch out tight areas, but it also helps to strengthen and revitalize your muscles.
What is a yoga wheel?
A yoga wheel is a round, circular, firm cushion designed to support your spine and other parts of your body, like your hips and shoulders, as you stretch and move during your yoga practice. They come in various sizes, some being as small as a grapefruit and others as large as a basketball!
Using a wheel during your yoga practice is a great way to challenge yourself in new and exciting ways. It is a versatile tool that allows you to deepen your stretches in a safe and controlled manner. Unlike other props like blocks or bolsters, which add another level of support, a yoga wheel only provides a firm and round surface to help you stretch further into the poses – without being so large that it’s challenging to move around the mat!
Benefits of using a yoga wheel
Improved flexibility – Whenever you use a yoga wheel, you actively stretch your muscles, joints, and connective tissue. As you use a yoga wheel, you are increasing your flexibility in a safe and controlled way. Yoga wheels can benefit those who practice yoga regularly and want to improve their flexibility.
Because yoga wheels are firm and circular, they help to create a stable environment, which makes it easier to deepen your stretches. This is especially helpful if, like many people, your flexibility is limited by your more tight areas, like your hips and hamstrings. Using a wheel, you can target these problem areas, improving your overall flexibility and range of motion.
Improved balance and posture – A yoga wheel can help you to improve your posture and balance in poses like Tree Pose and Warrior II. Using a wheel can help you to target your shoulders, upper back, and core muscles in a way that promotes good posture and balance. This can help you to feel more confident and comfortable in your body.
Improved physical strength – Yoga wheels are not only helpful in improving flexibility and posture but also for improving your overall physical strength. While yoga is a practice that is often associated with flexibility, strength is just as important. Yoga wheels can help you target your core and other areas of your body where you need to build strength. One of the best ways to do this is through a yoga wheel. Using a wheel in poses like Warrior I and II can help you build physical strength while actively stretching!
Reduced stress and anxiety – Yoga is a great way to de-stress and relax your mind. But did you know that it can also help alleviate feelings of anxiety and nervousness as well? Using a yoga wheel during your practice can help you to build up a sense of calm and relaxation. This is particularly beneficial for those who may feel more anxious or nervous in challenging situations, such as new social situations, public speaking, or even exams!
Calming and meditative experience – Yoga is often described as a meditative practice. Using a yoga wheel during yoga can help you meditate and calm your mind even further. Using a yoga wheel can help you focus on your breath and the feeling in your body. It can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and nervousness, and it can even help protect you from experiencing fatigue during long yoga sessions!
Who can benefit from a yoga wheel?
Anyone can benefit from using a yoga wheel. Whether you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for years, a wheel can help you to take your practice to the next level. Yoga wheels can help you to stretch and strengthen your body in a safe and controlled way.
Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility, posture, and physical strength or want to calm your body and meditate during your yoga practice, yoga wheels are a great tool to use. Yoga wheels can be particularly beneficial for those with limited flexibility who want to increase their core strength or improve their posture. If you are recovering from an injury, yoga wheels can be especially helpful in helping you to build up strength and regain your range of motion!
3 Yoga Wheel Exercises For You To Try
- Yoga Wheel-Assisted Child’s Pose – The child’s pose is a classic pose that stretches the hips, thighs, and low back in a gentle way. When doing a wheel-assisted child’s pose, you can reach your arms across the wheel, giving you a stretch through the shoulders and chest.
To do this yoga wheel pose:
- Kneel on the floor, the same as you would when performing a traditional child’s pose. Your big toes should be touching as you sit back on your heels.
- Separate your knees to about hip distance apart, giving enough space to place the yoga wheel between your knees.
- Set your hands on top of the yoga wheel as you deeply inhale. As you exhale, lean your chest and torso forward, rolling the wheel away from your body using your hands.
- Continue leaning forward, lengthening your spine, until your stomach is resting between your thighs and your arms are stretched comfortably in front of you.
- Let your head fall as you relax your neck, letting your head rest on your mat.
- Hold for at least five breaths, then slowly release your body to starting position.
- Wheel-Assisted Plow Pose – Plow pose stretches the hamstrings, shoulders, back, calves, and neck. This pose can stretch the hard-to-reach paraspinal muscles within the lower back. This pose can often assist in relieving backaches, but like any pose, it should be practiced cautiously.
To perform wheel-assisted plow pose:
- Lay down on your yoga mat comfortably on your back.
- As you lift your feet and legs into the air, place the wheel directly under your butt.
- As you shift your hips into the air, pull the wheel in, rolling it closer to your back.
- Once you master these steps, continue lifting your feet up and above your head. You can hold onto the wheel for added support.
- Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, then slowly remove the wheel and lower your legs.
- Wheel- Assisteded Plank Pose- This pose is a great way to stretch your body while building core strength. Having a strong core can improve your yoga practice tremendously. A strong core can give you the push you need to move on to more advanced yoga poses.
To do this pose:
- Begin on your mat, kneeling with your yoga wheel behind you.
- As you make your way into a traditional plank position, lift one foot at a time onto the wheel behind you. If needed, rest one foot on top of the other.
- Engage your core and legs as you maintain a straight back.
- Hold this pose for 20 seconds, increasing the time as you become more comfortable in the plank position.
A yoga wheel is a great way to take your yoga practice to the next level! Whether you’re just getting started with yoga or have practiced for years, a wheel can help you to deepen your stretches safely and comfortably. It’s not necessary to use a yoga wheel every time you practice. You can use a wheel to challenge yourself in new and exciting ways!
Not only can a yoga wheel help you to deepen your stretches, but it can also help you to strengthen your core muscles, relieve tension, and calm your mind. When you use a yoga wheel in your yoga practice, you will feel more confident and relaxed – and most importantly, you will be able to continue learning yoga while your body is becoming more flexible, strong, and healthy!
If you’re interested in finding other ways to enhance flexibility, relieve tension, and calm your mind, join us for a flow at Yoga Nyla. Our wonderful instructors are prepared to help you achieve your goals in a safe space.