I am super stoked to share my yoga wheel practice with you today! A yoga wheel is an excellent tool that helped me access poses that I once thought were impossible. It also makes my practice more interesting. I’ll share some poses that you can get into using your yoga wheel in this tutorial on how to use a yoga wheel.
The yoga wheel was invented by the Sri Dharma Mittra and his son Yogi Varuna. The Dharma Yoga creator created the wheel to assist students in backbends and inversions. Since then, it has become a favorite tool for yogis of every level. The yoga wheel has now become very affordable since it was introduced to the yoga world. Below are poses that help open the heart and bring stability to your practice.
Some of these poses will require prior knowledge of yoga. A great place to start is on Youtube. You can also check my Yoga Pose Library for a directory of commonly taught yoga poses.
How to Use a Yoga Wheel
Before beginning these poses, you will need a yoga wheel.
#1 King Dancer or Natarajasana
The yoga wheel makes King Dancer possible. This pose requires open shoulders, and a warmed up and a flexible spine. I recommend doing 5 to 7 Sun Salutation As, 15 cat or cows and holding bridge pose for 15 breaths before attempting this pose.
How to Get Into King Dancer Pose
- Start with both feet on the ground. Get grounded before you balance.
- Holding the yoga wheel in your left hand, bend your right knee to lift your foot.
- Begin to shift your right towards the back and away from the ground. Feel your right kneecap shift toward the back of the room.
- Take the wheel into your right hand and loop the top of your foot around the inner edge of the wheel. The hand and foot should be touching the same side of the wheel.
- Begin to rotate your elbow out and up over your head until your bicep is next to your cheek.
- You can stay here with one hand connected to the wheel, OR you can start to walk your left arm towards the right wrist or edge of the wheel.
- Stay here for 10 breaths on one side, release for 3-5 breaths, then repeated on the other side.
#2 Malasana Squat Balance
This pose was tricky but my friend Georgina helped me get into it using Sukha Blocks. This is a fun and challenging balance pose. Eventually, you can ditch the blocks and join Cirque du Soleil. Ok, maybe that last part won’t happen, but this will get you a teensy bit closer.
How to Get into Malasana Balance on a Yoga Wheel
- Prepare your props and find a partner (if possible). Place the yoga wheel in between two blocks. The blocks will prevent the wheel from rolling sideways. I recommend doing this against a wall or rail if it’s your first time.
- With one hand on the wall or rail, begin to step one foot and then the other. Find your balance using the wall.
- Once your feet are firm on the wheel, keep your spine over your hips and find your balance. DO NOT lean forward or back.
- Begin to bend your knees outwards and down into a squat position.
- You can bring hands together into Anjali Mudra (prayer hands) or keep them on the wall as you balance.
- To get out, slowly stand up and step down from the wheel one foot at a time.
#3 Kapotasana or King Pigeon Pose
The mother of all heart openers. If you’re like me, then you think heart openers are intimidating yet gratifying. And that’s why we do them. Here’s a great one that opens up your entire front body. Your shoulders and spine will thank you later. A great way to prep for this pose is with cat/cow and child’s pose.
How to Get Into Kapotasana
- Place the yoga wheel on the floor or mat.
- Sit in front of the wheel with your shins to the ground (Virasana pose).
- Begin to lean back and lay your spine onto the wheel.
- You can extend your arms towards the back of the room or bend the elbows and grab the outer edges of the wheel for a deeper backbend and tricep stretch.
#4 Salamba Sirsasana or Headstand
How to Get into Headstand Pose:
- Start in tabletop pose with shoulders over hands and hips over knees.
- Place the yoga wheel with rubber side directly in front of your face. Grab opposite sides of the yoga wheel with your hand like you’re holding a donut, sandwich, or something healthier.
- Place the back of your head against the rubber side of the wheel closest to you.
- Tuck your toes under and lift your knees away from the mat.
- Start to walk your feet towards your face and start to feel some pressure of your head against the wheel. Crown of the head will be connected to the earth.
- Raise one leg at a time until both are overhead.
- Stretch your toes towards the ceiling and be here for 20 breaths. Feel free to close your eyes and enjoy being inverted.
Don’t have a yoga wheel? You can always practice with a friend!
Buy your yoga wheel for only $25.99 from ProSource Fit and use code SCHIMIGGY for 15% off.
Images were taken and provided by Danielle of With Love Yoga Co, a Seattle/PNW based photographer and designer.
I received this wheel complimentary by ProSource Fit. All opinions and thoughts are my own and 100% honest.