When I first got this beautiful YogiWheel from the generous folks at Evolve Fit Wear, I was absolutely thrilled. For months I had been crushing on yoga wheels and the amazing things that people were able to do with them from training themselves to press up to Handstand to some amazingly balance tricks. I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself. There was only one problem: I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time.
The first trimester of pregnancy just isn’t the time to put yourself at risk of falling, so I knew my Handstand press exercises were going to have to wait. (I won’t lie, some of those exercises are a teensy bit daunting and scary to me anyway.) But that didn’t mean I was going to put my new wheel to the side and let it get dusty. No way! I just knew I would have to be a little creative.
I found the wheel to be a great prop for bringing the floor closer to me when I need (or just want) something a little taller than a block. Since it’s a circle, you can rock it forward and back, which is both super soothing and can help deepen poses a bit if that’s what you’re going for. And, perhaps my favorite use for it is to use it as a back roller/massager because, pregnant or not, who doesn’t need a good massage as often as possible?
I really love this one from YogiWheel because it’s super sturdy and I love how colorful it is. YogiWheel also makes some that have yoga-inspired quotes written on the inside, which I think is a really nice touch. I love that the outside has a grippy yoga mat-like covering so you won’t slip. That said, this is the first wheel I’ve ever tried, so I can’t really compare it to other popular brands, like the Dharma Yoga Wheel.
I thought some of you might be curious about yoga wheels, too, and want some ideas on how to incorporate them into your practice. Most people probably know that they can be an excellent tool for building the core strength necessary to do inversions, but I think they are a fantastic addition to any yogi’s prop closet.
Below, read about my favorite gentle poses to use the YogiWheel for and why. If you have a wheel already, go get it and try these poses out. And if you don’t, now’s a great time to get one—even if Handstands and deep backbends aren’t your thing.
5 Gentle Poses To Try With a Yoga Wheel
1) Supported Backbend + Massage
Well, duh. The most obvious thing to do with a yoga wheel is just drape yourself over it, let gravity help you drop your shoulders toward the floor, and open your chest. It feels great. But the best part is that rocking forward and back makes for a pretty stellar self massage. You control how much pressure you give yourself and where you need the most love.
2) Rocking Lizard Pose
Lizard Pose is one of my favorite hip opening poses. When I come into it with my back toes tucked under and a straight back leg, I naturally rock forward and back. The movement is soothing and it helps me get into all the juicy spots in my pelvis and hips that need a little extra love. I usually do this with my forearms on the floor, but I found that bringing my forearms to the yoga wheel instead gives me some extra support and makes rocking easier. It’s a little awkward to fit both forearms on one wheel, though, so I’m thinking I’m going to need to get a second one (I know, I know.. First World, Spoiled Yogi problems!).
3) Rocking Side Bend
It’s a side bend. It’s a massage. It’s exactly what I need at the end of the day (and sometimes the beginning and middle of the day, too…). Again, you can use the wheel to help rock yourself up and over and back again. Once you feel all opened up on one side, slowly get up, turn yourself around, and do the other side.
4) Rocking Squat
Squatting is obviously awesome for mamas-to-be, but it’s also a great posture for anyone who wants to open their hips, inner thighs, and groins, and stretch their ankles and lower calf muscles. I adore a variation of Malasana (Garland Pose) with a rounded forward bend shape similar to Balasana (Child’s Pose). I find that it combines the quieting, introspective benefits of Child’s Pose with the physical benefits of squatting. The only thing that could make it better? You guessed it! Rocking forward andback. A yoga wheel allows me to do that, and it feels SO incredibly good.
5) Supported Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
So, I know this won’t work for everyone because we’re all different heights (and some of you, OK most of you, have much longer legs than me!) and our forward bending capacities vary a lot, too, but this is one of my absolute favorite things to do with my YogiWheel. I’ve always loved forward bending for the calming effect they have on the mind. I’ve always favored seated forward bends because I could easily rest my head on a brick or sometimes even the floor for a little extra calm and introspection. I always wished I could find the same in Uttanasana, but who had time to build a block tower in the middle of a yoga practice? The YogiWheel is exactly the right height for me to rest my head. No fuss. No chance of a block tower crashing down to disrupt my peace. And just like that Uttanasana is my new favorite pose.
Do you have a yoga wheel? What are some of your favorite ways to use it?
Product Review from Erica Winters at Spoiled Yogi