You may have observed a cylindrical contraption featured in social media posts of advanced yogis and influencers these days. Deemed as the best thing to have happened to yoga since the yoga mat, the prop is becoming a staple during yoga sessions.
This is credited to its multiple benefits such as building better posture and stamina. The yoga wheel can help to attain deeper stretches while alleviating sore back muscles. It is ideal for beginners who struggle with weaker muscle strength when reaching optimal poses. In fact, it assists beginners in becoming lithe enough to experiment with complex postures, too.
The yoga wheel also provides ample support to build flexibility and strengthen your core muscles. It makes contorting the body to reach advanced poses simple. If you want to know how to use a yoga wheel and incorporate it with successful results in your yoga sessions, then read on.
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Yoga wheels are useful for reaching a deeper state of stretch and works ideally for the thigh and hamstring muscles. It is great to practice multiple poses which unwind and open the lower part of your body, such as your hips and back.
To allow for an intense stretch, start with a relatively low lunging position. You should hook the yoga wheel under your thigh with your front foot stepped over the prop.
Now, gradually move the yoga wheel, pushing it under your calf muscles while pulling your front hip towards you. You can balance by placing your fingertips on the floor on either side of your body. You should start to feel a slight burn in your hamstring muscles as you stretch further.
Remain in this position for a while to benefit your hamstrings. To release your body out of this position, start by unbending the knee while pushing the yoga wheel away from under your foot. Repeat the process with your other leg if you desire.
Upper Back and Shoulder Stretch
Yoga wheels have a direct positive effect on the condition of your back muscles. If your back feels stiff and shoulders feel sore, regular stretching can help to release you of reoccurring aches. A yoga wheel is a useful support prop that enhances the stretching session, resulting in a more relaxing posture.
Start your stretching session by kneeling on the floor with the yoga wheel placed in front of you. Place both your hands on the yoga wheel and push your upper body forward. Your palms should be facing each other resting on the wheel at your wrists. As you push your arms forward, ensure that you keep your back straight.
You will start to notice a contraction like pull on your shoulder and back muscles. Remain in this posture for at least 30 seconds. If you wish to deepen the posture for a stronger stretch, then extend your shoulders and arms further. To move out of this position, gradually pull your arms towards you and exhale deeply.
Bending Back Stretches
As stated earlier, yoga poses can benefit the back muscles greatly, releasing them from the tensed state that they might be in, muscles knots and stiff soreness. The backbend posture is great for relieving the spine of tightness and giving it a much-needed release from aches.
However, backbends can be a tricky position to achieve. Hence, a yoga wheel will aid in reaching this intensely relieving position. Start by first kneeling on the floor and placing the wheel behind you, between your legs, especially between your feet.
Now, gradually start to lean back on the wheel, moving it gently to align with your back and waist. Stretch your arms out on either side and hold your knees for support as you lean in further for a deeper stretch. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds to reap its benefits. Don’t forget to breathe deeply.
To release the stretch, ensure your core muscles are engaged, and then move them up gently. Do these movements a few more times to build muscle memory.
A headstand is a great way to build strength in your shoulders, arms, and the upper body. These can be tricky to do successfully, yet have a lasting benefit on elongating the spine and soothing the vocal box. However, if not done correctly, a headstand can be damaging to the eye and cervical disc.
This is where the yoga wheel comes in to provide superior support in reaching optimal muscle strength. To do a headstand with a yoga wheel, place the yoga wheel securely against a wall for maximum support.
Now, kneel in front of the wheel holding it with your hands on either side of the wheel, with thumbs pointing upwards. Place your crown on to the floor and push your back into the wheel until you lengthen the spine. Slowly push one leg forward towards the wall, followed by the other.
Your heels should then rest on the wall as you reach the assisted headstand position. Remain in this position for a few seconds and move one leg down slowly at a time as you release yourself from the headstand position.
Hollow Back Yoga Pose
A yoga wheel can help you practice advanced yoga poses with ease until you are strong enough to practice them unassisted on your own. Challenging poses like the ‘Hollow back’ can be learned quickly by holding the yoga wheel for support.
Start with getting into a forearm stand position while holding the yoga wheel securely in your hands behind you. To get into a comfortable position, gently move your toes to come in contact with the wheel and rest on it as you push your chest out.
Try to remain in the position and breathe deeply for 30 to 40 seconds. This position is ideal to max out the benefit to your lungs and blood flow. To release yourself from this position, simply move your toes and release your body from the forearm stand position.
A yoga wheel is a lot of fun to practice with as it provides ample support to gradually build the strength you need to become an advanced yogi. With these tricks, you will be breathing and feeling better. To gain the maximum benefit from your yoga sessions, remember to breathe deeply, and invest in the finest and sturdiest yoga wheel in the market.