You are likely aware of yoga accessories, such as mats, braces, and blocks, if you have ever visited the inside of a yoga studio. But what might be new to you is the yoga wheel. It is a thin but wide cylinder made out of plastic, wood, or a combination of both materials that is around 12 inches in diameter is a new addition in the world of yoga. It is being used to intensify poses to improve flexibility, and it has a more complex approach of balance and in supporting challenging poses.

Four Sample Yoga Poses to Do with A Yoga Wheel

The key to achieving a deeper stretch with a difficult pose is to know how to integrate a yoga wheel safely and efficiently into your workout. Below are highly recommended poses that you can use a yoga wheel with that is appropriate for novice to intermediate level yoga practitioners:

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a traditional, relaxing pose that helps stretch the legs, thighs, and low back easily. With the use of a yoga wheel with this pose, when you reach out your arms out on top of the raised surface of the wheel, you will feel a good stretch across your shoulders and chest.

  • Kneel on the floor and make sure that your big toes are touching.
  • Sit back on your heels. 
  • Spread your legs at least shoulder-distance apart and put the yoga wheel in between your knees. 
  • Place your hands on the wheel’s top.  
  • Inhale deeply. When it is time to exhale, move your torso forward, and use your hands to roll the yoga wheel away from your body while extending your spine. 
  • Keep leaning forward until your belly will lie In a comfortable position between your thighs with your arms spread directly in front of you. 
  • Relax your head and neck. Try to rest with your forehead touching the mat; this way, the chest, and shoulders will get to have a deeper stretch. 
  • Hold the pose for at least three deep breaths.

Simple Reclining Pose

The simple or easy pose is a standard, cross-legged seated posture that promotes a clear mind and steady breathing. The reclined style is being done with the yoga wheel’s help, and this includes a chest-opening backbend, which is controlled. This pose helps in relieving the tension between the shoulders. 

  • Sit straight and put the yoga wheel in your front. Make sure that it is positioned parallel to your spine. 
  • Cross your legs in a position you are comfortable with. Your legs and your pelvic area should be grounded on the floor.  
  • Position your hands on your knees in a palms-up stance and keep your eyes closed. 
  • Breathe in deeply, and as you exhale, stretch your spine gently over the top of the wheel and use it to support your controlled backbend. 
  • Have your head rest on the top of the yoga wheel. 
  • You can stay in this pose for at least five deep breathing cycles. But you can stay as long as you are comfortable with this pose as well. 

Fish Pose

Fish pose is an impressive chest-opening backbend position that stretches the pectoral and shoulder muscles. That said, several people would not be able to properly execute the traditional pose on their own, while others would prefer a deeper stretch. The yoga wheel offers a solution for both.

  • Sit on the floor with your torso straight, and your legs stretched out in front of you. 
  • Point your toes properly and rotate your hips internally. You should feel the squeezing of your inner thighs together. 
  • Put the yoga wheel behind your back. It should be aligned and also parallel with your spine. Have your hands keep it in position. 
  • Breathe in deeply, and as you exhale, slowly lean backward, stretching your spine over the top of the yoga wheel (as you do this, take out your hands on the wheel to enable the wheel to move with your body as you execute the backbend).

For a deeper stretch:

  • Lift your hips up to go for a deeper stretch. Allow the yoga the wheel to support your back and, at the same time, massage your spine between the shoulder blades. 
  • Relax your head and neck. Lean them against the yoga wheel. 
  • Spread your arms wide, positioning them wherein you feel comfortable, encouraging you to balance. 
  • Stay on this position for at least three breaths before doing the reverse movement to return to a sitting position on your mat.

Upward-Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose

For yoga practitioners working towards more difficult backbends, such as king pigeon pose, wheel pose, or perhaps an unassisted upward-facing two-foot staff pose, the yoga wheel can definitely be a great assistant. By using the yoga wheel to help you do the backbend, you can do poses that you may not feel comfortable attempting without the additional support along your spine or between your shoulder blades. It helps you develop self-confidence and strength to work out your muscle groups, eventually allowing you to reach your body goals.

  • Sit straight, bend your knees, and have your feet flat on the ground.
  • Place the yoga wheel on your back. Make sure it is parallel and directly aligned with your spine. 
  • To keep it in position, put your hands on the inside of the yoga wheel. 
  • When you inhale, lean back against the yoga wheel and take out your hands.
  • Once it is time to exhale, push your heels, and lift up your hips. Reach up your arms over your head with the elbows bent (it should be straightly pointing behind you). 
  • Keep stretching your spine on the top of the wheel to roll between your shoulder blades.
  • When your arms hit the ground, try to place your forearms flatly on the mat and grip the wheel with both of your hands to keep it in place. Relax your head and neck on the yoga wheel.
  • Make sure to engage your inner thighs so that your knees will be kept aligned with your toes. 
  • Hold the pose, or if you want to maximize the posture, try extending one leg at a time for a better stretch across your quads and hip flexors (be sure to make your inner thighs and feet engaged to avoid your hips and knees from rotating externally). 
  • Hold the pose for three to five breaths and gradually reverse the motion to release the pose.