What Is Yoga Wheel? How To Use A Yoga Wheel? What Are The Benefits?

Sunil Murthy
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History Of Yoga Wheel

The Yoga wheel is a variation of the exercise and occupational therapy equipment known as a wobble board. The board became popular after the Yogi, Swami Siva Yogeshwar, introduced them to the Yoga world. He is credited with reinventing the humble wobble board, originally used by amputees, as a yoga equipment. In the late 1890s and early 1900s they were marketed to the public as exercise equipment and became a fixture in health clubs and gyms. The board will teach you to focus on core stability and can also be used as a way to achieve balance rather than simply being a fun and exciting way to exercise.

Since the Yoga wheel appears to have a powerful calming effect on the nervous system, physical therapists use this equipment for both physical therapy and occupational therapy. It is being researched for the treatment of ADHD and ADD.

It is a fun way to perform stretches and exercises, for example, by lying on the ground, placing the yoga wheel between the arms at chest level and doing a push-up, engaging the arms, shoulders, chest and triceps.

How To Use Yoga Wheels?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions among beginners. The first and most important thing to do is learn the proper way of using a yoga wheel. When using a yoga wheel, avoid rolling from the knees and instead try and roll from the spinal region.

Yoga wheels have become a common practice among people who want to achieve better posture or get back into shape. Apart from helping achieve better posture, the users of a yoga wheel also enjoy the following benefits:

  • According to the experts, one can use yoga wheels to trigger the nervous system’s relaxation to some certain extent and postural alignment.
  • One can use Yoga wheels to stretch the muscles and ligaments to keep their bodies straight.
  • Improved proprioception or the awareness of body movement and spatial orientation are also beneficial uses of a yoga wheel.
  • One can use a yoga wheel to improve the tone of body muscles by enhancing the blood circulation in the body.
  • Yoga wheels are portable, which means that users can carry them wherever they want and whenever they want.

But, the Real Question Lies in How Does One Use a Yoga Wheel in a Safe yet Effective Way?

When using a yoga wheel, it's essential to maintain proper posture and alignment.

How to be safe?

You should never do a yoga wheel pose in a way that you feel that you hurt yourself. You should always respect your body and treat yourself with care no matter how challenging a pose is. Not pushing yourself too far or extending the time you spend on a pose will prevent injuries.

When moving forward (as in any pose), you should start from a proper alignment and then begin rocking back and forth. When you find your routine, you can always try to move slightly backward and then forward. Begin this easy motion slowly, and then allow your body to allow itself to follow a smoother rhythm. Take the time to focus on your alignment and how it feels to do the pose.

It is essential to have a spotter whenever you try the handstand, the scorpion pose, or any pose that requires isolation of one body part. You will also need help when you try to grow or stretch your legs towards the sky using your yoga wheel as a prop.

Be Aware of Falling

The yoga wheel can also be used as an aid to help us in balancing. Some people who have never felt comfortable with standing positions try using a yoga wheel for guidance and confidence. You can also use this tool to help improve the strength of your ankles and legs.

Uses of Yoga Wheel

Usage 1: Massaging the Spine

While doing Yoga, it is common for your spine to release tension and pain. You can use the yoga wheel to reach those hard-to-reach spots. It is straightforward to use and is very helpful. Try to achieve a static hold with the center/upper part of your spine on the wheel. This stretch is a great way to counteract the adverse effects of our sedentary lifestyle. You can massage the spine by rolling the wheel up and down the length of your spinal column.

Your spine and hips are the two hardest-to-reach spots in your body. Some of the joints can change by many degrees, and putting more pressure on one angle can mean the difference between a painful and a non-painful posture. One of the most incredible uses of a yoga wheel is to help with your spine. Even though the spine is highly flexible, the back muscles don’t automatically adjust to the pressure. The result of this is the spine can quickly become misaligned. Using a yoga wheel can help you realign the spine easily.

Another benefit of using a yoga wheel is the opening of the hips. Many of us forget that having tight hips means that you will have bad posture, stiff back, bad breathing habits, and other seemingly unrelated health problems. You can use the yoga wheel to access the hips by trying to align the spine and hips. Position the wheel on the outside of the leg right below the hip. Let it slide down the leg until it reaches the foot.

Usage 2: Opening Up The Front side of the Body

The hip joint contains a lot of large stabilizing muscles. Since the muscles of the backside of the body need a lot of support, it can be a good idea to open up the front side for a while. The Yoga Wheel is a good tool for this.

To begin, start by lying on your back with the Yoga Wheel under your sacrum. Keep your back flat to the floor. You can deepen the stretch by moving the arms away from your body and your head backward. You may also try stretching your left arm away from the body to the left side, the right arm resting comfortably to the side of the body with the elbow bent, pressing the lower hand into the floor.

To feel the stretch even more, start to pull the feet towards the hips. Press the ankles and elbows harder against the Yoga Wheel and push the shoulders into the floor. Keep breathing deeply and evenly while the hips open up, and the shoulders relax. The position also stretches the body’s backside.

Usage 3: Deep Back Bends

One of the best things about the Yoga Wheel is that it is a tool to support you when you are doing backbends. By using the wheel to keep your backbend, you're able to move into positions you might not feel comfortable trying without the added support along your spine or between your shoulder blades. It enables you to build confidence and strength in the working muscle groups, ultimately helping you inch closer to your goals. It is advantageous if you have a stiff back or a back injury and feel that backbends are painful.

Usage 4: Flexibility Exercises

Traditionally, people use the yoga wheel for back stretches and balance exercises. The wheel is handy for releasing tension in the spine. To do this, simply lean against the wheel, allowing your back to touch at different points. Due to the wheel's round shape, your back will stretch in different ways at different angles. Areas that tend to tighten up if you spend too much time at a desk can benefit significantly from this routine. Your upper back will loosen up, which, in turn, will make your neck feel better.

To increase stretching through the spine, place the yoga wheel on a carpet. Once you have balanced on the wheel, breathe and gently use your hands to push your upper body forward. Then let your upper body go to the side and off the wheel. Using the energy created by the wheel, move your upper body in figure eight, folding forward and to the side at the end of a rotation.

Usage 5: Strengthening Balance

The yoga wheel is also a great way to improve balance. As you practice balancing with the wheel, your sense of balance will improve. Balance is a lot more than just not falling. By strengthening the muscles around the pelvis, the rotational muscles will improve, leading to a feeling of increased stability. While you work to improve overall balance, you will also feel your buttocks, hips, and lower back become stronger.
A yoga wheel provides a smooth surface for a balancing exercise that challenges your active balance. Active balance is the ability to balance control your weight force in any direction, as well as your body's center of gravity.

Stand tall with your yoga wheel in the palms of your hands, in front of your body. Keeping your feet together, your knees soft, and your abdominal muscles engaged, lift yourself first onto your toes. Next, lift your yoga wheel and your legs as high as possible, with your hands still in the palms-up position. Bring the wheel and your legs back down to the ground, and repeat this exercise 10 times with a straight back.
Allow your abdominal muscles to be the predominant part of your hands and the core as you try to keep your body in a straight vertical line.

Benefits of Using a Yoga Wheel

It is a fun way to perform stretches and exercises, such as lying on the ground, placing the yoga wheel between the arms at chest level and doing a push-up, engaging the arms, shoulders, chest, and triceps.

# 1 Do difficult stretches more safely

The average yoga practitioner is relatively experienced and flexible, but everyone has her difficulties and limits. Using a yoga wheel while rolling out in the middle of a pose can be safer. A yoga wheel assists in performing difficult stretches more carefully, ruling out the possibilities of injury and muscle damage

# 2 Prevent Injuries

Yoga wheels are suitable for reducing injuries in your body and increasing your flexibility. It helps to stabilize the body while performing your yoga poses. The yoga wheel can be beneficial for older people to rehabilitate physical therapy patients.
The balance the yoga wheel provides is the key to gaining stability and stretching your body, making your poses easy and holding them for a longer time.

Injury means you have to take a rest for a while. When you are taking a rest, you become lethargic and mental strain also happens. The yoga wheel can help you to get out of the situation as you can continue your regular programs while using the yoga wheel.

# 3 Improve Flexibility

A yoga wheel effectively increases the flexibility and fluidity of the muscles. The ability of the joints to move past the normal range will increase. The yoga wheel also supports and improves muscle tone and joint mechanics, and over time, you will experience a reduction in soreness and pain. Your balance will increase as the root of the yoga wheel practice will be incorporated into daily life.

# 4 Give Dynamic Support and Improves Breathing

Yoga wheels that feature four non-slip pads and rollers give you support in each direction. The rollers also improve breathing and the core muscles. The more difficult pose you’re doing, the more you use your core. The core is what gives you stability in your practice.
A yoga wheel not only helps you do challenging poses during yin yoga, but it also helps you breathe deeply for total practice. It’s like going to the gym but with less sweating and more stretching.

# 5 Get Stronger

A yoga wheel is an ancient contraption that comes in handy for a variety of exercises. Using the yoga wheel can help one strengthen the back and neck. It is a fantastic tool to help reduce back pain. I recommend yogis to try the yoga wheel for exercises for beginners and intermediate-level yogis. A yoga wheel is also perfect for advanced practitioners, as you can use it to perform various adjustments for your yoga practice.

# 6 Stimulate Your Fascia/ Connective Tissue:

The use of the yoga wheel activates the fascial system of the body. Flexibility and range of motion in the body are affected within as little as three sessions. Activating the fascial system helps bring fluids into the connective tissues of the body, improving circulation, flexibility, and range of motion. It highlights the importance of balanced yoga practice because it is not just moving your arms and legs but also connecting to all the cells that those limbs connect to.

The fascia of the lower body tends to be tight compared to the upper body, which can explain imbalances in the posture of the body and pain in that area.
Stretching and rolling with the yoga wheel helps lengthen the connective tissue in the backside of the body, which many people have restricted. The majority of yoga poses require movement in the legs, which will activate the backside of the body, along with the front side. So, the yoga wheel gets meant for much more than stretching the tummy.
The pressure of the yoga wheel stimulates the fascia, which stimulates the breathing muscles, enriches nutrients, and energizes oxygen. The result of this process is an overall improvement in your health.

# 7 Enhance Stability and Build Endurance

Yoga wheel benefits begin with a better understanding of your body and how it works. Many people only use the front part of their body; by doing this exercise, you work your legs, buttocks, arms, and back. This exercise is essential for people sitting in the same position for most of the day, typing, working on the computer, and driving. The yoga wheel strengthens your body by working all of the joints, muscles, and ligaments in your body. When these are strengthened, you are less likely to suffer from stress fractures, lower back pain, and joint pain.

One of the most important benefits the yoga wheel offers is it opens up your hips, chest, joints, and abdomen by using it in a way that forces you to use your body in ways that you have not done before. This also works to open up your lungs, allowing you to move more oxygen throughout your body in a consistent manner. These benefits allow you to remain healthier and stronger as you get older.

The yoga wheel improves your flexibility naturally, helping you perform movements that you may not be able to do otherwise. It also works to enhance the alignment of your back and joints greatly. When your body is aligned correctly, you are much less likely to suffer from injuries caused by your body being out of alignment. Running, walking, and bending are examples of times where one can improve alignment or body to avoid future injuries and pain.

Chaturanga Wheel

This is great exercise that can help your push-ups and isometric exercises:

  • Lie on your tummy with arms extended in front with palms facing down.
  • Place your Yoga wheel between your knees.
  • Your feet are on the ground. So, your body should form a straight line.
  • You can bring your torso, shoulder blades, hips and legs to one line.
  • Hold this position and use your abdominal muscles to stay in the shape of a stick. Concentrate on breathing.
  • Hold the position for about 20 seconds.
  • You can increase the time if you find it comfortable.

Concluding Thoughts

Yoga is not just about the flexibility of body. It also helps to boost the mental strength. You can focus on your inner self with yoga, learn to gain balance, to control your breathes, and feel the sense of calmness completely. Yoga helps to deal with the stressful life at work and helps to create a sense of well-being.

Once the yoga wheel makes its way into your life, beginning your day by practicing some of the poses will be really interesting and relaxing experience. The feeling of your body stretched in a circular motion and facing the sky is something that will change your day to be so great. You will feel that you can go through the day with so much enthusiasm and positive thoughts. Your mind will be more relaxed and you will be having a positive outlook towards life.

Yoga training wheels are considered to be the best yoga tools for the beginners. This is because they are very easy and simple to use. When you place the yoga wheel upon the floor and stand upon it, you will not be able to fall of from it. This will help you to know how far you can stretch your body in certain positions. You can easily master different yoga poses and move through them quite comfortably. This is considered to be the best yoga exercises for beginners. You will achieve lot of benefits from using the yoga wheel. You will feel better about yourself and your lifestyle will only benefit you.