It’s a well-known fact that practicing yoga regularly can help to prevent or relieve back pain. There are, however, attributes that can be used during yoga practice to deepen your stretches and to reduce back pain even more. Chances are high you’ve heard of a yoga stretch strap and a yoga block before, but are you familiar with a yoga wheel yet? If not, we are here to introduce you to one of the best attributes to use during yoga to alleviate back pain.
What is a yoga wheel?
A yoga wheel is a hollow, circular-shaped attribute for yogis that can be used during yoga practice to help with stretches, improve your flexibility and release upper and lower back pain. With a 13cm width and a thickness of 1.6cm, the yoga wheel has the perfect size and shape to support your body while practicing yoga. The yoga wheel is made out of strong material which makes it no problem to rest your entire body weight onto the yoga accessory.
The relatively new accessory was introduced into the yoga world in 2014 and has increased in popularity ever since. The best thing about the yoga wheel is that it doesn’t serve one single purpose but instead, it helps you with different challenges. Therefore, you can decide for yourself what it is you want to use a yoga wheel for. Whether your challenge is flexibility, strength or you’re struggling with aches and pains; the yoga wheel can be the solution.
How to use a yoga wheel
The yoga wheel can be used for multiple purposes and each way requires a different approach. You can use the yoga wheel for a wonderful massage to warm up your muscles before getting started with your yoga flow. Start off with stretching your upper body by placing your hands on the yoga wheel while kneeling. Press your shoulders down and you will feel a great stretch through your shoulders, arms, chest and core.
If you want to stretch your upper and lower back, place the yoga wheel below your back and slowly move back and forth to make sure the yoga wheel targets your entire back. This will not only warm up your muscles but can relieve pain as well. If you’re interested in the ins and outs of yoga wheels for back pain, you can read about them in our blog.
You might want to stretch your legs, especially if you’re already sore from previous practice. The yoga wheel intensifies the stretch if you place your feet on top of it while you’re sitting down. You will feel a deep, intense stretch through your hamstrings, glutes and calves.
Best yoga wheel exercises for your back
Are you interested in reading about relaxing full body exercises you can do with a yoga wheel, then we would like to refer you to our blog about 5 zen yoga poses using a yoga wheel. However, if you’re struggling with back pain and you’re interested in hearing about the best yoga wheel exercises that focus on your back, you’re in the right place.
1. Child’s pose
An exercise that is incorporated into almost every yoga practice is the child’s pose and thankfully, there’s a way to do this pose while using the yoga wheel. Place the yoga wheel in front of you, sit down on your knees and grab the wheel with your hands. Roll the wheel forward to get a stretch throughout your upper back.
2. Easy pose
As the name suggests, this pose is relatively easy and can be done by everyone, even if you’re a beginner yogi. For this exercise, you’ll want to sit in front of your yoga wheel while sitting crossed-legged. Lean against the yoga wheel and slowly extend your spine over the top of the wheel. A great exercise to release tension between your shoulders and in your upper back.
3. Fish pose
We are slowly increasing the difficulty of the exercises by moving into the wheel-assisted fish pose, where you lay on top of the yoga wheel with your legs extended. Make sure the yoga wheel is aligned with your back and parallel to your spine. Lean backward and enjoy the stretch you will feel in your lower and upper back.
4. Reclining hero pose
Next, kneel down with your knees hip-distance apart, sit down on your feet and place the yoga wheel behind you. Roll your spine onto the wheel and stretch your arms beyond your head, which will give you an intense stretch throughout your quads, back and shoulders.
5. Open shoulders extended pose
Then finally, our last pose will not only stretch our back but the shoulders as well. The open shoulders extended stretch is performed by laying on your stomach with the yoga wheel placed below your hips. Move your legs up and keep your upper body as close to the ground as possible. You will feel this stretch in your entire back as well as your core and shoulders.