A non-slip yoga mat is a yoga essential and sturdy block is a great asset to any yoga enthusiast, but what about a yoga wheel? A yoga wheel can be a brilliant addition to your yoga routine, helping to massage the spine and add extra depth to your poses.
What Is A Yoga Wheel?
A yoga wheel is a circular shaped yoga accessory that is designed to release tension and aid stretching so you can improve your flexibility and work deeper into your yoga poses.
Who Invented The Yoga Wheel?
This highly underrated piece of equipment was first invented in 1978, by Sri Dharma Mittra to loosen the muscles of the back, realign posture and support arching of the back. After crafting handmade yoga wheels for a few years, Mittra turned to creating the wheels from plexiglass. He experimented with his yoga wheel invention daily whilst practising yoga in his studio, after offering his wheels for use by those who attended his yoga classes, they soon caught on and those from near and far were after their own personal yoga wheel.
Mittra’s son, Dov, commercialised his father’s yoga wheel, making the Mittra Dharma Yoga Wheel available to purchase worldwide. Dov experimented with plastic, cushioned, and wooden wheels of varying size. Mittra’s wife, Eva, even designed a half-wheel to benefit seniors who need extra support during yoga.
How To Use A Yoga Wheel?
A yoga wheel, often referred to as a yoga back wheel is primarily used to massage the spine. To use it place the yoga wheel directly behind your back, parallel to your spine, use your hands to gently hold the wheel in place.
Inhale, and as you exhale lean backwards, and remove your hands from the wheel, rolling your spine over the arch of your yoga wheel. Move your body up and over the yoga wheel as you work into the backbend.
What Makes A Good Yoga Wheel?
You don’t need to invest a whole lot of money for a great yoga wheel, however there are a few things to look out for to make sure you get the right one for you. Firstly, choose a cork or sturdy plastic based yoga wheel. Cork is great for it’s non-slip, sweat proof properties, whilst plastic is brilliant for providing that extra level of padding. You’ll also want to ensure your yoga wheel is lightweight and of medium size so that you can comfortably roll your body over the arch of the wheel.
Here at Yogi Bare we have three ergonomic yoga wheels designed to fit with the shape of your spine. The wheels come in a range of materials and designs, with one being wooden with a cork outer layer to prevent slipping and improve comfort. This 5 star rated cork yoga wheel has been created to improve flexibility and spine health, enhancing posture and confidence when moving in and out of backbend poses.
The Cosmic Yoga Wheel and Tropical Yoga Wheel from the Yogi Bare collection both have a TPE padding on the outer surface which softens with pressure, providing a soft surface for your spine to rest against. The strong plastic structure to these yoga wheels means they are sweat proof, and a quick wipe after your yoga session will bring your wheel back to new!
All 3 yoga wheels have a diameter of 33cm, a width of 13cm and a depth of 1.6cm.
Do Yoga Wheels Work For Back Pain?
Yes! If you are experiencing back pain, one of the most beneficial exercises you can do is yoga using a yoga wheel.
Rolling your back along your yoga wheel will help to alleviate pain, massaging any kinks or tight muscles out from your back. The massaging motion will help to relax and recover your back, strengthening your spine and core.
For more information on how to use a yoga wheel to relieve back pain read our blog here.