How To Use A Yoga Wheel (Guide For Beginners & Pros)

There are many reasons to try yoga, especially if you’re looking for a gentle workout that’s good for the mind, body, and soul. The long list of benefits from regular yoga sessions ranges from reduced stress to improved posture, so yes, it’s definitely worth it to add the downward dog into your workout regimen.  

But before you do, make sure to invest in the right yoga accessories to make the most of your workouts. In addition to a mat, a block, and a strap, it’s recommended that you use a yoga wheel for optimal results in flexibility, strength, and breathwork.  

Once you have your yoga wheel, it’s completely normal to feel lost or confused about how to use it. If that applies to you, then check out this guide on how to use a yoga wheel for beginners. 

So what is a yoga wheel? Well, it’s exactly as it sounds; it’s a round wheel that’s designed specifically for yoga movements and stretches. This circular-shaped yoga prop is great for releasing tension, stretching muscle tissue, and opening the front side of the body. 

Many people view it as the most creative yoga prop of all time, and yoga wheel uses are extremely versatile. It can help take your backbends to a whole new level and lengthen hard-to-reach areas of the neck, chest, spine, hips, and shoulders.

It’s even possible to use a yoga wheel for learning forearm stands, building core muscles, and meditating.  

Yoga Wheels

Benefits Of A Yoga Wheel: Are They Helpful For Beginners? 

Just as yoga has many benefits, so does using a yoga wheel. The wheel is an extremely versatile prop that can help you meet your yoga needs, and it can add a whole new dimension to your practice.  Thanks to the wheel, you may find yourself stretching and strengthening muscles you didn’t even know you had. 

Whether you’re interested in a yoga wheel for beginners or you’re an advanced yogi, this prop is something that you should have on hand to achieve these benefits and more:  

  • Improved Poses 
    Even the most challenging poses become possible with a yoga wheel. This is especially true for heart-opening backbends, which is a major aspect of any yoga practice. Backbends help to improve posture, alleviate back/neck pain, and open the chest. 
  • Better Stability 
    The majority of yoga poses require strength and stability, and a yoga wheel can help. It can help to keep you balanced while striking your poses, and the added support keeps your muscles and joints safe.
  • Enhanced Endurance 
    Because you’re able to push yourself further into yoga poses with a yoga wheel, that means you’re also able to increase your endurance. You’ll be able to hold your poses longer and stronger, which can eventually lead to better stamina. 
  • More Versatility In Your Practice 
    You’d be surprised by the number of different poses you can do with a yoga wheel. Even classics like child’s pose can be done as a variation with your wheel.
  • Great For Inversions 
    According to Healthline on yoga inversions, “any pose in which your heart is higher from the ground than your head is considered an inversion asana.” A wheel can help you to get your heart higher than your head, and it can help you to hold the pose longer. 

How To Use A Yoga Wheel Basic Stretches & Exercises

Whether you’re looking for a yoga wheel beginner workout or advanced yoga wheel exercises, there are a lot of different ways to use this prop. So let’s start with the basics.  

1. Child’s Pose (Great for Beginners) 

If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended that you start out using your wheel for basic stretches to improve your flexibility and ability to hold each pose. One of the best beginner-level asanas is child’s pose. Get into the traditional child's pose on your mat, but instead of placing your hands on the ground in front of you, strengthen the back and lengthen the spine by holding your wheel instead.  

2. Fish Pose (Great for Intermediate) 

Once you’ve mastered the basic child's pose stretch, you can move on to something more challenging, like a heart opener. One of the most beneficial intermediate-level heart openers is the fish pose 

To do fish pose with your yoga wheel, start in a seated position with your torso tall and your legs extended in front of you. As you point your toes and internally rotate your hips, squeeze your inner thighs together. Place the wheel behind your back so that it’s aligned with the spine. As you exhale, lean back slowly to extend your spine over top of the wheel.  

3. Crow Pose (Great for Advanced Yogis) 

Once you’re ready to take things up a notch with your yoga wheel practice, you can start to play around with challenging inversions. One of our favorites is crow pose. This is not a beginner-level pose, so only attempt crow if you’ve been doing yoga for a while.  

To do crow pose, start by placing the yoga wheel flat on your mat directly in front of you.  Squat down behind the wheel with your feet close together, allowing your heels to come off the ground. Open your knees wide out to the sides of the room and lean your torso forward between your knees.  

While holding on to either side of the yoga wheel, start tipping farther forward as you bend your elbows so that your shins rest at the back of your upper arms. The goal is to affix your knees to your armpits, but if you can’t make it that far, the upper arms work just as well.  

How To Use A Yoga Wheel

Can I Use A Yoga Wheel For Back Pain? (Common Poses To Help) 

One of the main reasons to start using this prop is that it has the potential to alleviate back pain and discomfort. Depending on how you use it, you can open the chest, lengthen the spine, and even give yourself a full-length back massage.  

Traditional yoga wheels are 13 inches in length (diameter) and 5 inches wide along the entire base. The 13-inch length is perfect for fitting under the back and stretching the spine, while the 5-inch width fits comfortably between the average person’s shoulder blades.   

Some of the best wheel-assisted poses for back pain relief include:  

  • Fish pose 
  • Seated forward fold 
  • Camel pose 
  • Bridge 
Can I Use A Yoga Wheel For Back Pain

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are yoga wheels effective? 

Absolutely! There are many benefits of stretching and using a yoga wheel, like improved poses and more versatility with your yoga practice. They’re especially useful if you’re learning inversions and want extra stability and support.  

How long does a yoga wheel last? 

If you take care of your yoga wheel and clean it after each workout, then you could essentially have it forever! 

How do you balance on a yoga wheel? 

Many people assume that balancing on a yoga wheel is difficult, but that’s actually not the case. The width of the wheel is wide enough to stay firmly planted on the floor as you perform fish pose, two-foot staff pose, and even crow inversions.  

For proper balance, just make sure you’re using the wheel on a firm, flat floor surface. 

Do I need a yoga wheel? Can’t I use a pillow or another prop? 

While it’s possible to use other items to open the chest and bend the back, using a yoga wheel is the best way to do it. The yoga wheel was specifically designed to match the contour of the spine, so it won’t lose its shape as you stretch your muscles and open your chest.  

This isn’t the case for other household items like pillows or yoga bolsters.  


Conclusion

If you thought that a yoga wheel was only suitable for advanced yogis, you were wrong! This prop is great for all levels, especially beginners who want to enhance their poses, improve flexibility, and ease their way into inversions.  

The best part is that yoga wheels are easy to use. Whether you’re doing an easy child’s pose or a more challenging wheel-assisted crow pose, this prop is an excellent addition to any yoga practice.