If you haven’t tried using a yoga wheel in your routine, you’re missing out.
The yoga wheel is becoming an increasingly popular prop to use in your yoga practice. Using this prop is a fun and dynamic way to mix up your routine and challenge your body (and mind) with something new. The wheels are designed to be versatile and come in a variety of sizes, based on your personal goals for using it.
So how, exactly, can you incorporate a yoga wheel into your practice, and what are the benefits? Check out the five key points below and discover how you can start using this prop in your yoga routine so it fits your needs.
1. Give your spine some love
Have you ever used a block or a bolster beneath your spine for a supported heart opener? Take that great feeling, and then multiply it with a yoga wheel that’s round and can move with the contours of your spine. With that added benefit of movement, you can massage the spine by rolling the wheel up and down the length of your spinal column. Or, if you’re looking more for a backbend, find a static hold with the center/upper part of your spine on the wheel. This stretch is a great way to counteract the negative effects of our sedentary lifestyle.
From a seated position, bring the yoga wheel to the base of your spine and keep your feet planted as you gently begin to roll your spine up and onto the wheel. From here, you can play around with slowly rolling forward and back to get the full effects of a spinal massage.
2. Stretch and lengthen
The same position featured in number 1 can be the foundation for other uses too. From there, roll the wheel onto the upper spine and then reach the hands up and back to grab onto the wheel behind your head. This is a great way to stretch and open the shoulders, as well as release tension in the head, neck, and upper spine.
You can try a variety of different yoga poses to target specific areas of the body.
3. Strengthen and tone
There are a lot of fun and dynamic ways to move with your yoga wheel to strengthen and tone full body. You can target specific parts of the body, like the core, glutes, and legs, or you can focus on the upper or lower body as a whole. There’s a wide range of options, but we’ll cover a few key moves here:
Core and upper body can be targeted simultaneously when you come into a modified plank pose with both shins on the yoga wheel. From there, simply roll the wheel forward as you bring your body into a pike-like position, and then roll the wheel back into full plank. Repeat to strengthen and tone abs, arms, and chest.
4. Cultivate balance
Balance has a lot to do with core stability and all the little stabilizing muscles in the body. Yoga wheels can definitely help cultivate the strength and stability you need for balance! Many poses and exercises that you would do normally can be enhanced with a yoga wheel to cultivate even more balance, stability, and agility.
Garland, or malasana pose is a challenging strengthening pose by itself, but on a yoga wheel, you are cultivating strength, agility, and balance simultaneously.
5. Deepen your practice overall
Yoga wheels are a great support system as you work to deepen your yoga practice. As we’ve learned from this article, we know yoga wheels can support us in backbends, cultivate more flexibility and balance, and also strengthen and tone full body. The yoga wheel combines strength and flexibility for a full mind-body challenge – and workout.
Get creative and explore the ways you can incorporate a yoga wheel into your favorite yoga poses, stretches, and exercises. We recommend exploring Instagram. Use the hashtag #yogawheel to find endless inspiration and guidance on all the amazing ways you can incorporate this awesome yoga prop into your daily fitness and wellness routine.
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All images courtesy of ProSource / YogiApproved.com.