Hello, hello! I have been learning more and more about yoga flows every day, and I decided that I would share the things that I learn with you in my blog posts! If you are just like me - a beginner yogi - or just interested in this practice, subscribe to my newsletter. Or, follow me on Instagram to come along this fun ride and learn more about yoga! So in today's post, I would like to share my personal experience using a yoga wheel, and how I use it during my flows!
I am definitely not an expert in yoga yet, but I love learning new things every single day! So I learned that by using props like a yoga wheel helps me make adjustments to some poses because I ain't that flexible just yet, and I do not want to break my body! LOL! So here are several ways how I use a yoga wheel!
1) Back massage and stretches!
My back is still so stiff from sitting at a desk for hours every day, or just not stretching enough over the past few years. When I began practicing yoga a few months ago, I could not do any backbends, because it just hurt like hell! I still have back pains every now and then, but after I use a yoga wheel and massage my back, it feels amazing!
I sit down on the floor, and I put my yoga wheel where it touches my lower back and sacrum. I make sure that my feet are planted, and then I start to roll back and forth on the wheel. It felt super hard the first time I did it, but my back got used to it! I usually stay in a pose, like the one in the photo, for a couple of deep breaths.
2) Leg flexibility (middle split)!
My legs are also super stiff! Since I have a long history of taking dance classes, I am on my way to being flexible enough to do right and left splits. But... My middle splits, OMG, it needs a lot of work! So I do a bunch of stretches, and then I do the middle splits with the help of my yoga wheel. It serves as a support item so I don't overstretch my muscles. Another way to use a yoga wheel to help you with splits is to put it under your front foot (while being in a half split pose) and roll it forward until it is under your calf. Do this a couple of times while supporting yourself with your hands, and don't forget about your breaths!
3) Open the chest and shoulder!
A yoga wheel is a perfect prop to help me stretch my chest and shoulders. I sit on the floor and bring my hands on top of my yoga wheel. I move my head toward the floor while making sure that my arms are straight. I stay in this pose for a few breaths! Super helpful!
4) Aid in forearm stands and handstands!
I am in love with practicing handstands, forearm stands, and headstands! I learned how to do headstands, and now I am working toward the other upside down poses. The first thing I tried was using my yoga wheel next to a wall before even attempting a forearm stand. I put my head against the wheel and held onto it with my hands while lifting my legs. I did that a lot, and it really helped me strengthen my arms.
The next thing toward a forearm stand is the pose in the photo below. From a dolphin pose, I put one foot on the wheel and lift the other leg. I hold this pose for a few breaths, trying my hardest to push down with my elbows and not sink into my arms. It is difficult, but the more I do it, the easier it gets!
I also started playing around with handstands while using this yoga wheel. I pretty much do the same thing as I do when attempting a forearm stand, except my arms are straight! Also, engaging the core during these poses is extremely important. Otherwise, you may fall. Strong arms and shoulders are also necessary to be able to hold you in these poses. I am not as strong yet, but I am much stronger now than I was a few months ago!
This is how I use a yoga wheel in my daily yoga practice! It is so helpful to have it next to me when I need it. I am also planning to purchase some blocks, because those can be extremely helpful when modifying poses, too!
So do you practice yoga, or are you interested in getting into it? Do you use any props in your practice? Share in the comments! :)
Check out these cute yoga props if you are interested in purchasing one!