Summertime is a wonderful time for yoga. The sun’s shining, you can go out-doors and we all feel a bit more motivated to do something more productive with our day. That said, when the weather’s hot and muggy, exercise feels harder, not to mention the fact that we sweat more.
Early morning or late evening are the best times to practise yoga during summer and stay cool. It’s also vital to drink enough water to keep hydrated. Summer is a time for a change, so why not embrace the season and try out a new accessory this summer?
What is a Yoga Towel?
Yoga towels have been specifically designed for use with yoga. They’re made from a highly absorbent material with dense microfibres, more so than your average bath towel.
These highly effective towels wick away sweat and moisture, with the primary purpose of maintaining grip, to prevent you slipping and sliding around on your yoga mat. The good thing about them is that they don’t become soggy and wet, like a regular towel would, instead drying out very quickly. At the end of the session, you can pop them on a wash to keep them fresh and hygienic.
Most yoga towels are fitted to the size of a traditional yoga mat, and some have small grips underneath to keep them in place. This is a great investment if you’re prone to sweating a lot, practise hot yoga, want to stay comfortable during summertime, have to share mats at a yoga studio or for those times, when you feel like having some extra cushioning for your mat.
What is a Yoga Wheel?
Sitting hunched at a desk all-day or staring into screens 24/7 is having a hugely detrimental effect on our bodies. More than ever we’re suffering unbearable tension in our back and shoulders.
Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to visit an expensive spa to iron out those knots these days. Yoga wheels are a simple device, hollow and circular shaped, that help with deeper stretching, improving flexibility, supporting challenging poses, strengthening the core, and releasing muscle tension, especially in those hard-to-reach places.
Summer Yoga Routine:
Apart from a Yogi Bare Yoga Wheel, vital for increased flexibility and support, you’ll also need a non-slip mat for this routine. Bring a yoga towel if you like using one for extra comfort or think you’ll sweat more in the warmer weather too.
Staying indoors? We’d recommend our high performance Yogi-Bare Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Mat.
For an invigorating outdoor summer yoga session, our portable Yogi-Bare Teddy Lightweight Travel Mat, can be easily transported, then cleaned in a washing machine afterwards.
5 Minute Yoga Wheel Work-out
It’s great to incorporate a 5-minute yoga wheel work-out into your regular yoga routine or as a way of stretching after doing another form of exercise.
Loosen shoulders and iron away those dastardly knots with this easy pose.
Get yourself into a seated position. The wheel should now be positioned under your calf muscles. Using your arms, reach forwards, placing your hands on the wheel to pull yourself deeper into the pose. Remain there as long as you like, inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply.
Another lovely pose to open up the space between your shoulders and alleviate back-ache. As it’s a restful pose, you can use this one to recover in between more challenging asanas too.
Kneeling on the floor, bring yourself into child’s pose by touching your big toes together and sitting on your heels. On your next breath, bend forwards so that your torso is between your thighs. Head should be face down, with chin touching the floor, whilst arms reach forward, fingers touching floor.
To incorporate your yoga wheel into this pose, position your hands on either side of the wheel at the front of the mat. Keep your head down and gently roll the wheel forward, keeping your chest pressed to the floor. To get the full benefit, we’d suggest staying in this pose for a few minutes, enjoying the release of tension.
There’s nothing like a spinal stretch for ultimate satisfaction. Another easy one, place your yoga wheel into the centre of your back and lie on top of it. Next bring your arms to the side and let your head hang back, feeling the soothing stretch.
20-Minute Yoga Wheel Work-out
Fancy a longer work-out? Why not follow this routine instead:
- Mountain Pose
- Sun Salutations (at least a few rounds)
- Warrior 1
- Warrior 2
- Extended Side Angle
- Downward Facing Dog
- Half-Moon Pose
- Staff Pose
- Forward Fold (with yoga wheel)
- Child’s Pose (with yoga wheel)
- Spinal Stretch (with yoga wheel)
Now you can really go to town and add some more yoga wheel exercises in to finish off this strengthening routine.
If you suffer tight hamstrings, try using your wheel for the Half-Pyramid Pose. Start by getting into the traditional marriage proposal pose. Keeping your torso pulled upwards, roll the wheel under the thigh of your front leg, lifting your leg higher so that the back of your calf is resting on it.
Use your hands to ease the wheel forward to extend your front leg until the wheel is supporting your calf near to your ankle. On the next breath, flex your foot and lengthen your spine. Exhale and reach forward with your arms towards the wheel, whilst maintaining a straight spine.
Another simple but effective exercise for engaging the hip flexors and improving balance is to sit on your wheel with feet slightly apart. Keeping a steady, engaged core, lift one leg. Hold for 10 breaths then switch to the opposite foot.
If you’d like to add more yoga wheel exercises into your repertoire, read 5 Ways to Use a Yoga Wheel for Back Pain for more ideas.