3 Best Yoga Wheel Core Exercises

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.

yogdev yoga wheel

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.

Strengthening Exercises

Try these 3 beginner strength exercises to challenge your core, improve your flexibility and feel like a super yogi in no time.

Yoga Squat

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.

Inverted V

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.

yogdev yoga wheel inverted V

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.

yogdev yoga wheel mountain climbers

In fitness and good health,
Natasha

The perfect fall outfit for busy moms from PrAna

I’m not sure if it’s purely psychological, but it seems as soon as Labor Day is over fall sets immediately in. The evenings have been cooler, and I’ve been craving pumpkin spiced lattes, cozy scarves, and comfy boots. Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons (my birthday being one of them!), and it’s a good opportunity to buckle down, get organized and set myself up to finish the year off strong.

As a mom of a busy toddler I’ve realized that practical clothing is the way to go. I have traded in light-colored linen pants and cute sundresses for jeans and a t-shirt or yoga pants. That is all it takes to avoid looking like a wrinkled, handprint stained disaster all the time and more like the put together ambitious mama that I am!

The change of seasons always brings with it a feeling of renewal and desire for change. What better way to embrace it than a new fall outfit? Check out this cozy look I got from PrAna, the maker of beautiful athletic wear and casual clothing. I’ve been dying for cooler weather to set in so I can show it off.prana review

What’s your weirdest workout?

So what’s the weirdest workout you’ve done lately? PrAna, the creators of some amazing and functional clothing has teamed up with Organic Valley and is on the search for the weirdest workouts out there! Enter their giveaway here and use hashtag #weirdworkout for a chance to win a $300 in credit to use on prAna.com, a two-month supply of Organic Fuel plus free swag! Pretty sweet right? 

Meal Prep Tutorial Week 2

Hey guys!

Welcome back to my second meal prep tutorial. I really wanted to get this up weeks ago but was off doing awesome amazing things which left no time to edit!

Below you will find..
– Menu
– Grocery List
– Recipes
– 15 minute video demonstrating my meal prep process with helpful tips and tricks along the way.
meal prep tutorial video

Tuesday Tip Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip this week is about Diastasis Recti (ab separation) after pregnancy!

diastasis recti online programI’m posting this picture because this was the point of my fitness journey where I could FINALLY say my DR was healed. It took nearly 40 weeks of rehabilitative exercise and being mindful of my movements to get there and feel comfortable doing some more advanced activities again!

Today’s tip revolves around things to do in your DAILY LIFE to help prevent and/or treat diastasis after baby.

Diastasis Recti DON’Ts

1) Don’t get out of bed with baby in your arms, you are essentially doing a weighted situp.
2) Don’t lift heavy weight overhead (e.g. getting a heavy item down off a top shelf)
3) Don’t pick up items off the ground with poor form
4) Don’t overdo it. Be mindful of your daily activities and rest when needed.

Diastasis Recti DOs

1) Log roll out of bed. Roll on your side and use your arms to assist.
2) Your core activation and TA exercises (look out tomorrow for video)
3) Ask someone to help you with housekeeping tasks
4) Use support when needed (love @baobeimaternity products and my kinesiotaping techniques!)
5) Lift your baby and items off the floor with good squat form and pre-engagement of your core. Breathing out and sucking in your bellybutton before you lift really helps!

Check out my previous posts on diastasis recti to learn more!

Diastasis can improve at any stage, even years after baby. Sign up for my 6 week postpartum personalized online training program to help you heal your diastasis and firm and tone your whole body so you can look and feel confident in all that you do.

In fitness and good health,
Natasha

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