Heal with the wheel

GIVE IT A SPIN Use of yoga wheels helps in achieving stability and versatility in balancing poses, suggests Akshar

health

Irrespective of our tradition, inheritance and treasure, yoga has transcended time to ensure health and goodness. It has evolved over the years and the yoga wheel is a product of this evolution. The yoga wheel is exemplary in its three fundamental objectives:

To ease your practice.

To provide healing.

To enhance your experience of asanas.

Ease

The yoga wheel acts as a prop that helps one perform asanas that may sometimes be difficult to achieve in the beginning. With regular practice and use of the wheel, many asanas, which may seem hard in the beginning, begin to flow naturally through the body. It acts as a support to the body providing stability in order to perform various asanas.

Postures to try

Assisted Sarvangasana: With your wheel beside you, lie down on your back. Gently begin to lift your legs up off the ground and position your wheel before your pelvis. As you begin to lift your pelvis and back off the floor, roll the wheel towards you using your arms and support your back constantly. Keep bringing your wheel towards you until you achieve the asana. Ensure that you grip your wheel firmly with your hands and gently roll it outward to come out of the posture.

Healing

The yoga wheel is a great healing tool as well. Its gentle support to the back helps relax the neck and spine. It also helps stretch out the muscles which soothes a sore back and helps build strength as well. It is also perfect in assisting the body with certain stretches such as hamstrings, calves, etc. 

Posture to try

Assisted Sethu Bandhan Asana: 

Sit down with your legs stretched out before you. Place your wheel to support your back. Place your arms on the floor for support. Lift your pelvis off the floor and slowly roll your back over the wheel. The wheel must take your body weight and massage your back while your hands and feet grip the floor for balance. With regular practice, once you gain mastery over your body and the wheel, you may let go of your hands and allow a complete stretch of your back by touching the crown of your head onto the floor.

Enhanced experience

The yoga wheel is a great exercise tool to build your core muscles, back muscles and upper body strength as well. With a great repertoire of asanas and exercises, it is a must-have for body conditioning and building.

Posture to try

Assisted Dhanurasana: Lie down on your back with your wheel beside you. As you begin to lift your legs off the floor, bring the wheel into position in contact with your pelvis. Lift your pelvis off the floor and roll the wheel further towards you until it supports your complete back. Place your feet on the wheel and once you are balanced, hold your ankles with your palms.

The wheel is a great aid to yoga, especially to those who wish to use it to assist them in performing various asanas for back therapy, etc. It is highly recommended for senior citizens for support while performing asanas. The method of use and the wheel itself are a product of years of extensive research and experimentation.

Although the wheel as a prop has been available for many years, knowledge on its appropriate use and benefits were unavailable. After two years of familiarising people with the wheel yoga practice and benefits, a larger population of yoga practitioners and health enthusiasts alike are now enjoying their yoga journey accompanied by their yoga wheel.

 (The author is founder, Akshar Yoga)

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