Considering buying a yoga wheel? Maybe you’ve seen one and are wondering what yoga wheels are used for!
Yoga wheels are common yoga props, much like yoga blocks and yoga balls, with various purposes and benefits. In general, yoga wheels are used for increasing flexibility and mobility.
Using yoga wheels isn’t as easy as it might look, however. Some yoga wheel exercises require good balance and core strength, as well as a degree of flexibility and mobility – despite also being used to improve these areas!
For everything you need to know about yoga wheels, including how to use yoga wheels, the difficulty of using yoga wheels, whether you need a yoga wheel, and more, make sure to keep reading.
What Is A Yoga Wheel Used For?
Yoga wheels are used for a variety of purposes. These include increasing flexibility, improving mobility, and improving core strength and balance.
Yoga wheels are also used for muscle stretching and releasing muscle tension, much like foam rollers.
Unlike foam rollers, yoga wheels are larger and narrower. They are typically 5 or 6 inches in width and up to 12 or 13 inches in diameter, making them ideal for using in different positions.
Some positions include placing the yoga wheel underneath the back, underneath the stomach, under the feet, or placed flat on one side and held in the hands.
As a result, yoga wheels can increase the difficulty of yoga poses but also offer assistance in yoga poses that are currently out of reach, often where it involves a lack of flexibility and mobility.
Are Yoga Wheels Good For Beginners?
Using a yoga wheel can look difficult, especially if the person using it is displaying a good level of flexibility!
But the fact is, yoga wheels are good for beginners. Yoga wheels can be used to increase flexibility and mobility, as well as assist in various yoga poses that a yoga beginner might find difficult to begin with.
As mentioned above, yoga wheels come in different sizes, the diameter of yoga wheels typically ranging from 5 inches to 12 or 13 inches.
And for beginners, smaller yoga wheels can be more ideal since these can offer support without requiring too much physical bending or elevation off the ground.
As for larger yoga wheels, these can also be ideal since they can provide elevation to make some yoga poses easier. For example, elevating the feet in boat pose to reduce the resistance of gravity.
The Benefits Of Yoga Wheels
To summarize the above points, the benefits of wheel yoga wheels include:
- Increasing flexibility
- Increasing mobility
- Building strength
- Improving balance
- Assisting with hard yoga poses
- Stretching muscles and reducing muscle tension
Physical benefits aside, yoga wheels are generally easy to use, widely available to buy, and made in a range of sizes for different purposes and benefits.
Yoga wheels are also quite sturdy, often providing years of use!
Yoga Wheel Exercises
Similar to yoga blocks, there are countless ways that you can use yoga wheels – conventionally and using your imagination!
The common yoga wheel exercise is using the yoga wheel underneath your back in a lying position.
This creates a bend in the back, allowing you to roll backwards and forwards to release muscle tension and increase lower back flexibility.
As a result, using a yoga wheel in this way can help back-bending yoga poses, such as cobra pose and upward facing dog.
When placed under the feet, yoga wheels can also increase flexibility of the hip flexor muscles – for example, using a yoga wheel in downward facing dog pose to gradually bring the legs closer to the body.
Other examples of yoga poses that can incorporate yoga wheels include:
- Boat pose
- Scorpion pose
- Crow pose and crane pose
- Bridge pose
- High plank pose
- Splits pose
Yoga Wheels Vs Yoga Balls
Yoga balls are another popular yoga prop that are used to increase flexibility and improve core strength, so you might be wondering what the difference is between yoga wheels and yoga balls.
While yoga wheels are solid and typically smaller in size, yoga balls—also called exercise balls—are softer and larger – often as large as 55 to 75 centimeters in diameter.
Due to the softness and lack of stability (in all directions as a circular ball), yoga balls are generally used for increasing core strength. This includes various core and ab exercises such as
As a result, yoga wheels are more ideal for increasing flexibility and mobility while yoga balls are better for ab and core training, as well as general muscle strength (for example, strengthening the glutes when using a yoga ball for bridges).
Are Yoga Wheels Safe?
Yoga wheels are safe – as long as they are used suitably.
You might have seen some people using wheels for various balancing poses—which will increase the risk of falling and causing injury—but it should go without saying that these are advanced yogis with years of experience!
Used conventionally, though, yoga wheels are generally safe.
Using a yoga wheel should feel comfortable and pain-free, and with careful attention to your current flexibility and mobility limitations.
Due to this, avoid trying to force yoga positions that are beyond your capabilities. Instead, use a yoga wheel to gradually achieve greater flexibility over time!
Should You Use A Yoga Wheel?
Yoga wheels are not necessary to own or use, but can prove helpful for increasing your flexibility gradually.
In addition, yoga wheels can also add a new element to your yoga workouts, making yoga more exciting in general.
If you are interested in improving your flexibility, mobility, and core strength, yoga wheels are worth investing in.
They are not expensive and are widely available in various sizes to suit different purposes.
Even if you consider yourself an advanced yogi, yoga wheels offer endless uses and benefits, with your imagination being the only limitation for how to use one!
To conclude, there are many ways to use yoga wheels.
They offer various purposes and, as a direct result, various benefits, from increasing flexibility and mobility to releasing tension in muscles through dynamic stretching.
Yoga wheels can be used to offer support and assistance in yoga poses, as well as increase the difficulty of yoga poses.
Due to this, yoga wheels are not just for beginners but also experienced yogis looking to add a new element to their yoga practice.