I’m an occasional yogi. I love yoga, it calms me, brings me peace and challenges my body to a whole different level than my regular workouts. That being said, I have a terribly hard time making it to class lately. Instead, I’ve taken to practicing poses at home with the help of a couple of fun props.
I have recently had my eye on a yoga wheel and decided to give it a try. I liked the idea that it could be used to increase the depth and challenge of certain poses but could also be used as a way to decrease the flexibility required and work on improved core strength and form.
This has been fun to experiment with, and surprisingly there is a level of sexuality to it! Some of the poses I tried were downright hot! Bottom line, a yoga wheel is way cooler than a foam block.
The YogaDev wheel was designed with everyday yogi’s in mind and provides amazing quality for a relatively small price tag. This thing is sturdy!! There is no caving under pressure, and the foam grip helps keep you from slipping.
What is a yoga wheel?
A yoga wheel was primarily designed to help increase the depth of poses requiring a backbend such as bow pose or full pigeon. Since backbends are challenging for me already, I decided this probably wasn’t a good place to start. It is very useful for improving balance and alignment, and I loved the feedback it gave me on where my body should be as I moved into some basic backbends over the wheel.
A yoga wheel can also be used to challenge your core on a whole different level. Not only do you have to find your center and weight distribution to keep it from rolling away, but you also have to keep it from tipping over sideways. This was fun to experiment with during planks and balance poses and by far my favorite way to use it since I love challenging my balance and strength beyond what I do in the gym.
Lastly, I found it to be a great stretching tool, especially for opening up the chest and thoracic spine. It can also be a great hip opener and can offer a nice stretch to the hamstrings and hip flexors.
Try these 3 beginner strength exercises to challenge your core, improve your flexibility and feel like a super yogi in no time.
This surprisingly was easier than it looks. Start by placing your feet centered on the wheel, heels directly under your midline and hands on the floor in front of you. Once you find your balance, slowly bring your hands to heart center sinking into your squat. To increase the challenge come up out of the squat halfway and sink back down. Repeat 5 times.
This is one of my favorite core exercises, and I loved being able to use the wheel to facilitate it. Start in a high plank position with your feet on the wheel. Focus on keeping your core tight and weight centered with your feet flexed and toes on the wheel. Slowly draw the wheel towards your hands as you push up into a half handstand, lifting your hips towards the sky. Hold here or roll out and repeat 5 times.
Wheel Mountain Climbers
This fun core exercise is a twist on regular mountain climbers. Start in a high plank position with your left foot pointed over the wheel. Bring your right leg to your chest without rounding through the back. Pull your bellybutton to your spine, bracing your core. Using your breathe roll the wheel in towards your body bending your right knee. Extend your left foot out behind you with a pointed toe. Repeat 3 times and switch sides.
In fitness and good health,