How to Use a Yoga Wheel. The Yoga wheel first appeared in August 2014 and was invented and developed by Yoga practitioners Dov Vargus and Raquel Vamos. Akin to the rise of the foam roller, the yoga wheel is an apparatus of simple design that can unlock a lot of potential in your Yoga practice.
So what is a Yoga wheel? And how do you apply it to your Yoga routines? Read on to learn more.
Many Yoga wheels are on the market from various manufacturers and suppliers in a highly varied price range. All yoga wheels, however, are of an almost identical design and offer equal benefits.
A Yoga wheel consists of a robust cylinder of small to medium size, externally covered with a firm but malleable material that provides some cushioning for the body to contour around.
The varied price ranges of Yoga wheels often denote the quality of the materials used to construct a Yoga wheel.
Cheaper Yoga wheels tend to be made from more inexpensive materials like plastics and foam. The more deluxe Yoga wheels are constructed from fair trade laminated bamboo or plywood and covered from renewable resources like a natural cork.
The size of your Yoga wheel often comes down to personal choice and takes into account factors such as:
- The height and size of a person
- The asanas and the level of support the practitioner requires
- Whether the practitioner is using a yoga wheel to support and treat an injury
- The size of wheel recommended by a Yoga teacher, healthcare professional, or bodyworker
- The portability of the Yoga wheel and other factors
Even though there is a range of sizes available on the market, the measures don’t vary. by much, and most yoga wheels will offer plenty of benefits to the average-sized person.
The majority of Yoga wheels on the current market will be approximately six to fifteen inches in diameter and be five to seven inches in width. The internal diameter of a yoga wheel varies depending on the materials used to make the wheel but are generally under an inch.
What Does a Yoga Wheel Do?
The question is not so much what a Yoga wheel does instead of what you do with a yoga wheel.
Although most people progress steadily with their Yoga routines without injury, people who have suffered the previous injury and are naturally less flexible can suffer from mishaps.
A Yoga wheel is there for added support. A Yogi can slowly develop more flexibility, particularly in the spine, and gradually remove the wheel, perfecting their posture and strength.
A Yoga wheel can also be used on other parts of the body, assisting more movement in the necks, shoulders, arms, hips and legs. However, flexibility, movement, and injury support are not the only benefits of using a yoga wheel.
Some of the many other benefits of incorporating a Yoga wheel in your practice include:
- Injury prevention
- Spinal decompression
- Treatment of aches and pains
- Improve core strength
- Improve posture
- Complementary therapy for back hunch
- Stress reduction and more
Now that we know what a Yoga wheel is, read on to discover how you use a Yoga wheel.
You may think that a Yoga wheel, being such a simple piece of Yoga equipment, has limited applications.
However, once you master the basics, you’ll be surprised how creative you can be in applying your yoga wheel to all kinds of Yoga flow and even use it in other disciplines like callisthenics, primal movement and Pilates.
While a Yoga wheel’s applications are limited only by imagination, below are some basic asanas where a Yoga wheel may help you take the asana to the next level.
Yoga wheel child’s pose
Start by kneeling on the floor, big toes touching behind, sitting on top of your heels, with knees at least hip-width apart.
- Place the yoga wheel between your knees, and place your open hands on top.
- Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, begin to lean forward, rolling the Yoga wheel with your hands and lengthening the spine until you have reached a comfortable stretch.
- Begin with a three breath-hold, and extend your stretches as you progress. Remember to remain as relaxed as possible and utilize your core muscles while maintaining a steady, controlled breath throughout the asana.
Reclined Easy Pose
- Begin cross-legged on the ground, with your spine straight and place the Yoga wheel against your back.
- Take a deep breath into your diaphragm, and as you exhale, slowly lean back against the wheel, and extend your spine around the wheel.
- Hold for three to five breaths, and relax into the wheel and your stretch. Increase your hold time as you gain spinal flexibility.
Yoga Wheel Fish Pose
- Begin by sitting on the floor, back straight, legs out front, with the Yoga wheel placed behind your back.
- Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, lean back, extending your spine onto the wheel.
- Lift your hips and continue to run your spine around the wheel until your lower body raises and your legs are straight, with your heels still connecting with the ground.
- Extend your arms to the sides like wings, allowing a deep stretch through your spine, shoulders and chest.
- On our last breath during your hold period, exhale and with control, allow your body to return to its original position slowly. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.
Remember to take things slow, and don’t push too hard, too fast. Allow your body to adapt, and use gravity as your friend.
Have you ever used a Yoga wheel? Are they used in your Yoga classes? What other equipment do you use to help you progress in your Yoga practice? The team here at My Free Yoga are passionate about helping people excel in all forms of Yoga while promoting a healthy, holistic lifestyle.
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