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  • Deanne Panday

Yoga wheel : Uses and benefits


Have you heard of the yoga wheel aka Dharma Wheel?


The yoga wheel is a hollow, circular shaped prop designed for aiding stretching, releasing tension and improving flexibility.


It is an effective yoga accessory that can help you improve your practice while getting you into any difficult inversion Asana's safely.

It has been specifically designed to align the spine, open the chest, relax the back muscles, stretch the hip flexors, and offer support during your practice in so many other ways. Interestingly,

It is one of "2018's hottest workout props".


But for now, let’s focus on some of the top benefits of the yoga wheel and why you need to include it in your yoga sessions.


BENEFITS OF USING A YOGA WHEEL :


1. Helps keep injuries at bay.


The yoga wheel

acts as a scaffolding for your body - it can help keep you upright and lends the support you require during traditional poses.


2. Improves flexibility.


Adding the yoga wheel to your yoga routine is definitely a wise decision as it increases your confidence to stretch further. Thus, increasing your flexibility.


3. Builds strength.


The yoga wheel acts as a support system and can help increase your strength and stamina gradually. In a very short span of practising yoga with the yoga wheel, you will notice to feel much stronger and healthier.


4. It stimulates your fascia (connective) tissue.


Fascia tissue is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. This tissue

is mechanically stimulated by tension and pressure. Slowly stretching your body to help our fascia will cause your ligaments and tendons to release and relax. This process can be more effective with the help of a yoga wheel.


5. Brings in variety.


Usual yoga poses involve just a mat with your feet and hands placed on it. But if you put a yoga wheel under your leg/back a lot more muscle groups are required to be active to hold that position. This brings in variety and change. This can be exciting for those that like trying new things every now and then.


6. Helps keep your spine strong and healthy.


The yoga wheel allows simultaneous extension and flexion of the spine. Due to the comparatively large contact surface, your spine experiences guided extension and stable support in its backbends.

This contributes to the preservation and promotion of a healthy spine.


7. Helps breathe better.


As it has been designed to open the chest,and relax muscles, the use of a yoga wheel opene up your chest, which means better breathing capacity.


Here's 3 easy exercises you can practice with the assistance of a yoga wheel :

1.Back bends.


-Start by sitting with your feet flat on the floor and the wheel behind you.


-Carefully lean back over the wheel, taking you arms up and over your head.


-Once the wheel is positioned comfortably under your spine, straighten your legs and point your toes out, while keeping your feet flat on the ground.


-Hold this pose for 30 seconds or until you feel you’ve achieved a good back stretch


2. Planks.


Place your feet firmly on a yoga wheel.

Get into the plank form.

And balance for 15 secs atleast.


3. The reclining easy pose!


Sit tall, directly in front of the yoga wheel, so that it's aligned parallel to your spine. Cross your legs in a comfortable position, so your legs and pelvis feel grounded into the floor. Place your hands on your knees in a palms-up position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, extend your spine slowly over the top of the wheel, using it to support your backbend. Allow the back of your head to rest on the top of the yoga wheel. Sit in this position breathing deeply for at least five breaths, although you can stay in the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.


Yoga wheels are available online on various sites including Amazon.


Note : Do consult a doctor before using a yoga wheel.

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