Yoga wheels are wheeling their way into yoga studios– pun intended. I’m a fellow yogi who never explored the full yoga wheel benefits until recently, and it’s a regret! I often suffered from backache when trying advanced asanas, which no longer troubles me with the wheel. Yoga wheels come in various types, offer numerous benefits, and appeal to beginner and expert yogis. So, I’m here to share how the wheel benefits you in yoga and other physical fitness routines as a versatile exercise prop. In addition, I’ll add the best wheel exercises.
What Is A Yoga Wheel?
A yoga wheel is a trending prop used in yoga classes and other fitness routines. According to yoga specialist Anshuka Parwani, it improves your practice by offering therapeutic and physical support for beginners and experts (8).
The yoga wheel is a hollow plastic or wooden cylinder with a supportive covering that comes in various sizes. The durable wheel is similar to a foam roller. Yet, it’s an inflexible stretching device invented in the 1970s (8).
The wheel can help expert yogis with advanced asanas while aiding beginners.
Yoga Wheel Benefits
The benefits of yoga wheel exercises in your physical fitness routines are immense. Indeed, the benefits go beyond yoga because you can use the wheel for other fitness routines and stretching exercises as well.
So, let’s see the many benefits of the yoga wheel.
Advancing Your Practice
The first advantage of yoga wheels is that expert yogis can enhance their asanas with the correct posture (8). More advanced yoga poses can challenge the most experienced yogis. So, aiding yourself with a yoga wheel can achieve the next level of your practice.
Safety: Fewer Injuries
Yoga props help beginners find support, balance, and safety in their journey to becoming a yogi (10). Expert yogis also use props to enhance and personalize their practice. Meanwhile, beginners can enjoy the injury-free benefits of using props like yoga wheels.
Strengthening Muscles And Reducing Pain
Full-body strengthening is another health benefit of yoga wheels (7). Wheel yoga pose stretches enhance the muscle strength in your arms, legs, abdomen, wrists, and buttocks. Additionally, it also works on your glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower back muscles.
Fascia Stimulation And Posture
The Fascia Research Group confirmed that yogic exercises, including rollers, stimulate fascia movement positively (9). Rollers are merely pre-wheels. In addition, fascia stimulation improves posture, balance, and coordination (5).
Read More: What Is An Asana In Yoga?
Improved Backbends And Breathing
Chakrasana is a form of back-bending yoga that welcomes you to open your diaphragm entirely for exceptional breathing (2). Back-bending is a traditional yoga practice, and yoga wheels make it much simpler to hold the position longer, allowing improved breathing.
Yoga wheels offer profound benefits, including improved blood glucose levels. A PubMed Central study found that back-bending yoga can improve people with type 2 diabetes lives (3). So, using backbends can improve diabetes. Why not do it with a yoga wheel?
Spine Health: Mobility And Flexibility
Yoga wheels can improve spine health by enhancing the flexibility of yogis practicing the asanas in proper form. A PubMed Central study concluded that spinal health benefits exist more extensively under the correct posture (4). Meanwhile, yoga wheels improve posture.
3 Yoga Wheel Pose Benefits Methods
Backbends are beneficial yoga wheel practices. However, full-body spine stretching and forward bends also bring benefits.
So, here are three yoga wheel exercises suitable for beginners:
Child’s Pose: Forward-Bending
The traditional child’s pose is a simple yoga asana beginners know (1). However, it changes slightly once using the yoga wheel. Also, this pose works better with a smaller yoga wheel if you’re short.
To do the wheel-assisted child’s pose:
- Separate your knees to hip-width apart.
- Place the yoga wheel between your legs.
- Rest your hands on the wheel’s top.
- Take a deep breath in and out.
- Slowly roll the wheel away until you stretch your spine.
- Keep your hands on the wheel while resting your head on the mat.
- Keep your asana in place for 30 seconds.
- Slowly roll the wheel back toward you.
Fish Pose: Back-Bending
The old-school fish pose is simple. Yet, it can cause injury to new yogis if you don’t do it right (6). So, let’s make one of the most popular and oldest yoga poses a safer choice with the yoga wheel.
To do the yoga wheel fish pose:
- Sit on the floor with your thighs squeezed tight and your legs extended straight.
- Place the yoga wheel directly behind your back, in line with your spine.
- Gently hold the sides of the wheel as you lean back, rolling the wheel and releasing your hands.
- Allow your head and neck to relax while lifting your hips to place your back’s support on the wheel.
- Balance yourself by spreading your arms comfortably to the sides.
- Hold the position for 60 seconds.
- Slowly reverse the movements until you’re back in your seated position.
Rolling Plank Pose: Full-Body
The rolling plank pose is suitable for yoga wheels, even if it begins with the tabletop pose (11). You can’t do it without a wheel. However, it supports the spinal stretch and full-body workout.
To do the yoga wheel rolling plank pose:
- Get into the tabletop pose by standing on all fours with your spine straight.
- Place the yoga wheel under your feet, one foot at a time.
- Slowly roll the yoga wheel toward your torso, bending your knees until you feel ready to plank.
- Breathe deeply before using your arms to balance yourself while the wheel rolls under the base of your top feet.
- Keep breathing as you slowly move your core back and forth on the wheel, maintaining your plank position and straight spine.
- Dismount your pose by bending your knees.
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What Size Of Yoga Wheel Do I Need?
Consider the factors regarding the size. Up Circle Seven is my favorite brand because they offer a 3-in-1 package that shows how each size works (15).
The wheels have three standard sizes:
- 6-inch yoga wheels are suitable for up to 330 lbs. Additionally, they aid shorter yogis, experts, and beginners, who want to focus on deep-tissue stretching and strengthening.
- 10-inch yoga wheels are suitable for up to 550 lbs. Also, they’re excellent choices for slightly shorter beginner yogis who need help improving their asanas.
- 12-inch yoga wheels also support up to 550 lbs. Meanwhile, the larger wheel is ideal for beginners who wish to improve their breathing, stretching, and balance.
What Are The Different Types Of Yoga Wheels?
There are three main kinds of yoga wheels that exist, which appeal to different yogis.
See the breakdown of how each primary type of wheel looks and works:
- Plastic ABS yoga wheels are durable and have soft TPE padding. For example, the Up Circle Seven wheels are excellent for backbends, backache, and improved posture (12).
- Cork yoga wheels have wooden or ABS structures with thick, soft cork exteriors. The Up Circle Seven cork wheel is suitable for stretching and pain relief (13).
- Stud (cushion) yoga wheels have ABS or wooden structures with thick padding. Also, the padding has textured points to aid pain relief and spine massages (14).
Read More: Yoga Namaste – Evoke The Divine In You
What Is The Most Challenging Yoga Wheel Pose?
Hands down, the Yoga Wheel Malasana Pose will challenge the most advanced yogis. Even experts could get hurt if you don’t mount the wheel properly. The famous yogi, Dragon Hooper, shares a tutorial on safely entering the Malasana pose on a yoga wheel (16).
Yoga wheel pose benefits are vast, even including type 2 diabetes management. However, every advantage works with a healthy lifestyle. In the case of diabetes, medication and traditional treatments go hand-in-hand with yoga wheel exercises. Meanwhile, the many benefits will lead to a healthier, stronger, and more flexible you.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Beginners Yoga: How to do Balasana – Child’s Pose (2018, youtube.com)
- Chakrasana Benefits: How Wheel Pose Can Keep You Rollin’ (2021, healthline.com)
- Effectiveness of Yoga-based Exercise Program Compared to Usual Care, in Improving HbA1c in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Control Trial (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of hatha yoga exercises on spine flexibility in women over 50 years old (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fascia (n.d., physio-pedia.com)
- How to Do the Fish Pose (2010, youtube)
- How to Do Wheel Yoga Pose (webmd.com) (2022, webmd.com)
- The many benefits of the yoga wheel: Expert offers insights | Health (2022, hindustantimes.com)
- Training principles for fascial connective tissues: Scientific foundation and suggested practical applications (2012, fasciaresearch.de)
- Why Use Yoga Props? (2022, aurawellnesscenter.com)
- Yoga Fundamentals – TableTop Pose | Bharmanasana – Yoga with Parul (2019, youtube.com)
- Yoga Wheel 12 INCH (n.d., upcircleseven.com)
- Yoga Wheel 12 INCH (n.d., upcircleseven.com)
- Yoga Wheel Back Roller And Stretcher With Thick Cushion For Dharma Poses Pink sports protection, sports suits, and protective equipment (n.d., walmart.com)
- Yoga Wheel Set 12, 10, 6 INCH (n.d., upcircleseven.com)
- Yoga Wheel tutorial for Malasana (2019, youtube.com)