Posted by on 4/23/2021 to Let's Talk Yoga!
A Simple Guide to the Yoga Wheel: Popular Stretches for all Yogis!
What is a Yoga wheel? It is a new practical and fun accessory for all practitioners of the yoga discipline.
In recent years, all Yoga lovers have started using this wheel. On Instagram or YouTube there are many tutorials of sequences made exclusively with the use of this one!
History and use of the wheel for Yoga
Designed in 2015, the Yoga Wheel has become the most popular accessory for yoga practitioners in recent years.
Its goal: to support the body in its movements and guide it safely into the most correct position. Also used in the gym and also for massage, this yoga wheel has revolutionized the daily life of some athletes.
Made of ultra-resistant material, it supports a maximum weight of around 200 kilos. Thanks also to the success, various types of yoga wheels are available: wood, plastic, in many different colors and sizes: there is something for everyone. In addition, these wheels will soon become 100% green thanks to the use of natural materials.
To choose the wheel as an ally of well-being, the width is above all important. It must fit snugly between the shoulder blades. Once you have found the right size, you just have to insert it into your practice and you can do it in many ways.
What are the benefits of a Yoga Wheel?
Easy to use, the Yoga Wheel attracts both experienced practitioners and beginners. Ideal for transforming your Yoga session, this accessory can really change the practice. It allows you to go further in stretching and makes it possible to perform some more advanced postures.
According to those who use it, this yoga wheel deeply stretches the body. Flexibility is therefore more developed.
The Yoga Wheel helps to open the rib cage and opens the shoulders to relieve accumulated tension and aches in the body. Thanks to various fun and original exercises, the muscles are strengthened and therefore also allow you to improve balance.
Very useful to make the body forget the harmful effects of several hours of sitting work, the wheel performs a real massage on the entire spine. For pregnant women, it is helpful in relieving back pain and softening the pelvis and adductors. A great ally!
Yoga wheel back stretches
For yoga wheel back stretches, you can go to work both on the opening of the chest and on the opening of the shoulders. In both cases, the wheel will be placed behind the back in an upright position. In case you want to open your chest, you sit on the ground and the wheel is positioned at shoulder height. Once you have found the correct point that allows you to arch your upper back without feeling pain or discomfort, you can raise your arms in the prayer position in front of your face and slowly let them go down towards the floor behind the wheel, and if you do not have cervical problems you can at the same time rest your neck on the wheel.
To work on the opening of the shoulders, on the other hand, the wheel will be hooked with the hands in order to increase the bending and the total opening. These yoga wheel back stretches are incredible to work on your flexibility and to strengthen and relax your muscle in a unique way!
Verticals and inversions
For handstands, the position of the yoga wheel must always be vertical for the length. You grab it with your hands, placing your elbows parallel to each other and at this point you go up vertically. The wheel acts as a support for climbing (grabbing it with your hands will make it easier to find stability). To further increase the stability of the position, it is possible to place a block on the other side of the wheel, or do it close to the wall, so that it rests against the wall.
To improve balance
Finally, if you want to take advantage of the very instability of this support to improve balance, different positions can be chosen. First of all, malasana, i.e. the garland pose. Like all balance positions it is good to activate the abdominals and work with breathing to enter the position. You proceed step by step, taking off one foot at a time from the mat to position it over the wheel. The feet are both rotated outwards, because the goal is to open the hips and go down with the pelvis towards the wheel. The arms can help open the hips: join hands in prayer in front of the heart and push the elbows against the inner part of the thighs.
Last position, vriksasana, the position of the tree balanced on the wheel. Also, in this case you must get into position with a lot of awareness and degrees, so as not to risk getting injured: you climb one foot at a time on the wheel and only once you have reached maximum stability can you try to lift one foot and position the sole of foot on opposite leg.
The yoga wheel is a very useful support that can be used for different purposes. The important thing is to always listen to yourself and practice according to your own limits! Embrace them, respect them and let the yoga wheel be a precious tool to explore your body from a different perspective! Namaste