The yoga wheel is a helpful tool for easing into yoga poses when you’re recovering from an injury, or suffer from joint pain. Yes, it’s fun, but it’s also an inexpensive piece of equipment you can use at home, at the spa or in specialized classes.

It’s Yoga, Squared — er, Circled

The yoga wheel heightens the already plentiful benefits of traditional yoga. Among its advantages are:

  • Relieving aching joints and muscles. It’s difficult to stretch when you’re already in pain. The yoga wheel eases you into loosening stiffened muscle tissue and painful joints.
  • Improving flexibility. The yoga wheel’s stability enables you to achieve deeper stretches without toppling over, or over-straining your back and limbs.
  • Boosting physical confidence. Beginners to feel more confident in bending backwards or into unusual positions, because the wheel fills the gap between their bodies and the floor.

Photo by @the.flying.mermaid on Instagram

Freewheelin’ Moves to Get You Started

The modified backbend, or Kapotasana, starts with you kneeling on the floor with your feet tucked on either side of your hips. Set the wheel behind you against your lower back. Lean backwards slowly, letting the weight of your own body bring your head lower to the floor. As your back opens up and begins to feel less tense, reach backwards to grasp the wheel.

The child’s pose is familiar, even to beginners. To incorporate the yoga wheel, start on your hands and knees. Sit back on your feet, and place your hands on the yoga wheel as you bend your torso toward the mat. The completed pose has you with the wheel extended forward as far as your arms can reach, and your chest pressed against the mat. This pose releases shoulder tension.

Photo by @yiingggmeiii____ on Instagram

Are you already at an intermediate or advanced level with yoga? Try poses you’ve already mastered, including standing positions! Adjusting to the wheel to achieve these poses improves muscle tone, balance and flexibility.

You’ll find yoga wheels online at major outlets like Amazon and fitness retailers. Plastic-rubber wheels can be had for under $20. As you get more experienced you may decide it’s worthwhile to spring for an artisanal wood and cork wheel. They’re upwards of $100 — but their striking decorations means that they can double as wall art!

 

Header Photo by @j_vlo on Instagram