Over the years, a lot of yoga poses and props have been added to what we already have. Among these props include the yoga wheel. But do we really need to use one?
After thousands of years of practicing yoga, so many changes have taken place across the globe. In the beginning, it was only a way of living, but today, it has transformed into a popular physical practice. There are already countless yoga poses today, yet numerous styles of yoga poses are still created to this day. With the addition of these new styles and poses, we’ve seen the introduction of new, different props.
You may have noticed a circular looking prop in your yoga studio – the yoga wheel. This wheel is what every yoga needs who are challenged when it comes to practicing inversions. It’s designed to align the spine, relax your back muscles, open your chest, stretch your hip flexors, and provide support during your yoga practice in so many ways. You can also use it in a variety of poses, from the heroes pose, to splits, shoulder stand, wheel, bridge, and so much more!
Why the yoga wheel?
As previously mentioned, yoga props are there to aid you with your practice. They shouldn’t be considered as items that only beginners should use. A true yogi listens to their body, and use the aids to support themselves, whether they are working on seated poses, backbends, standing poses, or twists.
As yoga continues to evolve, so have the props. The most popular prop today is the yoga wheel. Not only is it versatile to meet your needs, but it also adds a whole new dimension to your practice. You may just find yourself strengthening your muscles you didn’t know you previously had.
As with any props that can help with your routine, always remember that you should practice with safety and remain in proper alignment. The wheel is an incredible accessory you can use to deepen your practice while safely getting you into those difficult inversion poses.
7 reasons why you should use a yoga wheel
Earlier, we’ve discussed that yoga wheels are an essential part of yoga today since it helps those who are challenged with backbends. The list below enumerates seven benefits you’ll get from using a yoga wheel.
It makes challenging poses possible
One benefit of using this prop into your everyday yoga practice is that it can make challenging backbends more doable. You can ease into inversion and make slow natural progress easily instead of abruptly forcing a backbend movement. That can exceed your current level of flexibility. Despite your current experience level, it’s a very useful prop for both beginners and advanced yoga practitioners alike.
It helps with endurance
Now, depending on your current experience level, the wheel can help you stay in those backbends longer. You need to hold the pose for a specific amount of time for you to reap the benefits of the posture. Using the wheel will help your muscles as they fatigue during the process, which allows you to build your stamina and improve your endurance eventually.
It helps you individualize your practice
The level of challenge depends on each yoga practitioner, since we all have our strengths and weaknesses, on top of each of our physical proportions. A yoga wheel can help your practice by assisting you to work with your current flexibility limitations.
You can use it for practicing big backbends, just like the wheel and hero poses, down to the full expression of bridge and pigeon. You take your pick.
It encourages core work
As everyone should know, a strong core is key to a long-lasting yoga practice. When it comes to protecting your spine and lower back, you need to have a strong core. A strong core isn’t only made up of the larger muscle groups. It’s the tiny accessory muscles and stabilizer muscles that make up a strong core. It’s the development of those muscles combined and working in unison to perfect those difficult poses that advanced practitioners perform.
Using the yoga wheel during balancing poses like the Eagle, Tree, Plank, and One-Legged Mountain pose, you’ll begin to develop a much stronger core.
It promotes stability
Backbends, along with other poses need strength and stability. The good news is, the yoga wheel can help you with both. You can use it as a support during poses like the Bridge, or to supplement your balance while you lean backwards into the challenging backbend.
The stability this wheel offers give you the needed support and safety while your muscles become trained, and while you’re familiarizing yourself with the movement.
It is versatile
Yoga wheels aren’t only used for active poses, such as inversions and backbends, as mentioned above. You can also use them when meditating or when doing more restorative poses. If you tend to fall asleep while you’re meditating (yes, it can happen to anyone), then using yoga wheels against the wall to keep your spine upright. Doing so will allow your entire body to be receptive to energy.
Yoga wheels also double as a back-massage tool, as it can do so many wonders for releasing tension from your tight, achy muscles. They just have so many uses!
It’s great for inversions
Back injury is common among long-time yoga practitioners, and this is where yoga wheels truly shine. When it comes to helping yoga practitioners improve their inversions, they provide them with the confidence to practice those backbends. Knowing that they have the assistance and safety of this prop, yoga practitioners can confidently practice. The yoga wheels are a must-have, especially for those who are afraid of getting injured during inversions.
There are so many great benefits when you use this prop, and there are also countless ways to incorporate it into your yoga practice. However, you should remember that yoga is all about challenging yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to find different new ways to be your best self. With this yoga wheel, you can do that, and even more!