A yoga wheel is, well, a wheel you use in yoga! Ha! I am so smart to explain that aren’t I? But in all seriousness it is a great tool that is often forgotten about.
I have had my yoga wheel for about 4 years and at that time they were around $40-$50 but now you can find a variety of yoga wheels for more affordable prices.
There are many, many postures and and stretches you can do with a yoga wheel but lets be real and start with two simple ones to avoid the overwhelm.
I LOOOOVVVVVEEE using my yoga wheel to deepen my stretches forward and back. This first stretch is going forward.
Sit with both your legs out inform of you. Rock side to side on the sit bones, rooting them into the floor beneath you while lengthening your spine upwards, letting your shoulders relax and dip down your back.
With the yoga wheel in between your legs place your hands upon it and inhale a big breathe through your nose. As you exhale the air push your wheel forward while lengthening your spine forward over your legs.
While you are folded forward take another breath and on the exhale engage your abdominal muscles and bring the yoga wheel back in between your knees while simultaneously rolling the spine up.
Do this 3 times, 4 times, 10 times or however many times you want. Also play with holding it for more breathes. I would suggest 3 breathes.
When you are in your forward fold after pushing the yoga wheel away from you feel free to drop your head and enjoy the extended stretch in the spine.
Placing your yoga wheel behind your back. Push it up against your coccyx (tailbone). Again shift side to side on your sit bones, feeling the connection with the floor beneath you. As lengthen you spine up, allow your shoulders to relax and dip away towards the ground.
With both hands holding onto the yoga wheel behind you, gently shift your spine into your backspace, engaging your abdominals until your spine touches the giant curve of the yoga wheel. Keeping one hand on the yoga wheel lift the other hand and place it behind you neck.
With one hand behind your neck continue to gently shift you spine onto the yoga wheel opening up your heart. Keep leaning back until you can go no further. It is imperative to keep you neck long and let your hand hold your head. If you don’t do this it’s common to hold your neck with your neck muscles and add tension.
Once you have found a position where you feel you can go no further stay there for several breathes. Make sure you are taking deep inhales and on the exhales sending energy and oxygen to your spine encouraging it to open a little more.
Watch this tutorial where I will show you how to do these two simple and effective stretches using a yoga wheel.
I would love to know which you enjoy and if you have any questions about the movement.