Has your yoga wheel been relegated to the corner of your room and now collecting a layer of dust? No worries, we've got your back! The yoga wheel burst onto the market a few years ago and it seemed like there were endless uses but just like with anything shiny and new, the novelty wears off quickly. Today, though, we're taking a closer look at ways to use the yoga wheel with the hope that it will jumpstart your practice and inspiration.
1. Yoga Wheel for a Headstand or Forearm stand (see above) - What you'll want to do here is position the yoga wheel against your head for a headstand, or set up your arms for forearm stand and grab hold. You need a bit of traction happening through your forearms in order to feel stable here, so imagine that you are trying to pull yourself forward. That active intention to pull will help you to feel concrete here. Then, use the wheel like a mini wall for your head, and then tip toe your feet forward until your pelvis is over your head. Then, lift one leg, stabilize, and hop off the bottom foot (do not kick with the top foot!), and try to find your balance overhead. This is probably best to do if you're someone who can get up and hold against the wall, and you're looking for a way to move away from the wall but still have a prop as a crutch.
2. Yoga Wheel for Deep Backbend - This is definitely something you'll want to do when you are very warmed up, and have practiced wheel pose and are ready for a deeper backbend. The alignment details are important and you can find a comprehensive run down in my book Namaslay, but when using the wheel the key points are: picture your body like an upside down letter U (not an upside down V), keep your knees stacked over your ankles and press into your heels, and breathe space through your entire front body, especially your chest.
3. Supermans with the Yoga Wheel - Here's a fun way to build strength through the posterior chain. This is a lot harder than it looks and if you're having trouble balancing, you could modify by bringing your hands down to the ground and just lifting and squeezing you legs before the releasing (and then repeat 5 - 10 times).
The yoga wheel I'm using here is from Clever Yoga, but there are lots of other wheels out there at different sizes and price points. This one, however, is fantastic.
I'd love to know how you use the yoga wheel in your practice! Let me know down in the comments section below.