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9 Great ways to start using a Yoga Wheel

Admit it, you're curious!

If you have been itching to try something new and have seen these yoga wheels, don't be shy.  We've compiled a number of exercises to try, and even a video tutorial to show you the wheel in action.  What are you waiting for?

What's so great about a wheel? 

Well, what may have been a new trend in the yoga world has quickly become the must-have product of the year. It’s been seen in the hands of well-known yogis far and wide, and even celebrities have been sharing their love for it.

  • The yoga wheel will immediately stretch your entire front side body – hip flexors, abdomen, chest, and shoulders. It’s a serious heart opener!
  • It will massage the entire length of your spine in a safe but deep way.
  • The wheel helps yoga practitioners move deeper into postures, specifically heart opening postures like backbends and forearm balances.
  • It assists in learning new postures.
  • And provides a base of support for core and balance exercises.

Video credit:  Holly Pinkham, Certified Personal Trainer, ProSource Fit

Need a little more info? 

You can always find creative images by searching #yogawheel on Instagram.  But for a safe start, try the following to get the benefits of a massage to the spine, opening the front and side body, assisting in deep backbends, aiding flexibility, and fun challenges to strength and balance:

1. Spinal Stretch.  Lay over your yoga wheel with it centered at your middle back and bring your arms out to the side. Allow your head to hang back, naturally increasing the spinal stretch.  With the 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.  Get there 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. Reclining Hero Pose is a deeper way to open the front body, find a backbend, and stretch into the quads, knees, and ankles. Bring your knees hip-width distance apart (spread them wider to make this pose gentler, or closer together to deepen). Bring your seat down in between your heels as you roll your spine onto the wheel and stretch your arms beyond your head. 

3. Forward Fold.  From a seated position, place the wheel under your calf muscles and take a deep forward fold with your hands on the wheel to pull you deeper.  Instead of placing the wheel under your calves, you may also place it beyond your feet, and play with the position of your grip on the wheel to deepen the stretch.

4. High Lunge.  Come into a high lunge and place your back shin on the wheel to intensify the balance aspect and to create a deeper stretch across your back leg while strengthening your front thigh.  Slowly press back, rolling the wheel further back to deepen the pose.

5. Plank Pose.  Try some mountain climbers by coming into a Plank position (on hands or forearms) with your feet or shins on the wheel. Then either together, or one leg at a time, pull your knee(s) into your nose or matching elbow.

6.  Get Creative with Balance.  Anything you can do on the ground, try it on your wheel!  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.  For example:
 
Malasana Pose (or Yogi Squat) is a challenging strengthening pose by itself, but on a yoga wheel, you are cultivating strength, agility, and balance simultaneously.
 Malasana pose on yoga wheel

 
Toe Stand is another fun pose to try on the yoga wheel. By itself, this pose takes balance and stability, but adding the yoga wheel brings much more body awareness to the parts you need to engage and strengthen.
 Toe Stand on Yoga Wheel

 
The added benefit of practicing these challenging poses on a yoga wheel is the immense body awareness you’ll gain. You’ll discover stabilizing techniques and cultivate greater balance as well as strengthen your stabilizing muscles.

Do you need a Yoga Wheel? If so, you are in luck.  My Yoga Essentials yoga wheel is made from strong ABS plastic (weight bearing 350 lbs) and non slip cork. It provides the strength, durability and comfort you need in a yoga wheel. Check out our yoga wheel here! While there you can check out our other awesome yoga accessories such as our cork blocks or a new yoga mat/accessories carrying bag. Or how about a yoga mat to go along with your accessories? Check out our yoga mat collection here. You simply can't beat our quality, beauty or prices when you shop our store!

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