Use a Yoga Wheel to Turn Up the Heat In These 7 Poses (Photo Tutorial)

Use a Yoga Wheel to Turn Up the Heat In These 7 Poses (Photo Tutorial)

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When it comes to yoga props, one of the most common questions my students ask is: How to use a yoga wheel properly?

Read on to learn all about it!

While there are many yoga props to choose from, I, like many others, have a deep love for the yoga wheel!

Yoga wheels are strong and sturdy, and using them helps increase mental awareness of body movements, and adds subtle depth to the poses to strengthen your overall practice.

Here’s How to Use a Yoga Wheel In 7 Familiar Poses:

When it comes to how to use a yoga wheel, there are endless possibilities. But here are a few of my favorite ways to add a yoga wheel to common yoga poses for an added challenge.

1. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

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Plank Pose tones all of your core muscles. It helps build mental endurance and is one of yoga’s foundational poses in the practice so it’s the perfect pose to learn how to use a yoga wheel in.

Start by adding your yoga wheel one leg at a time and feel the fire and strength building from within. Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “I am the fire in my life.”

Let’s try it:

  • Starting in table top with your wrists directly under your shoulders, your fingers facing forward, and your knees under your hips

  • Draw your lower belly in

  • Then lift one leg at a time behind you, resting the top of your shins on your yoga wheel

  • Once balanced, make sure your body is in a straight line with your core tight

  • Look down to stay in balance, then release, relax, and repeat one more time taking the practice for four to six breaths

2. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat Pose helps create stability within the body and will power within the mind. This powerful pose helps you energize, de-stress, and relax all at the same time.

Since Boat Pose enhances our Second and Third Chakras, it also helps balance our emotions while igniting our creativity. Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “I am more than enough as I stand here today.”

Let’s try it:

  • Sit on your mat with your back resting against your yoga wheel

  • Extend your legs in front of you and hold your yoga wheel with your hands from behind

  • Exhale and rest your middle back on your wheel, going into an inclined backbend

  • Inhale and raise your legs up and extend them to about 60 degrees off the ground

  • Exhale and adjust to rest your back comfortably on your wheel

  • Stay opening your chest for about four to six breaths

3. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)

Pyramid Pose requires intense focus as it is, so when you figure out how to use a yoga wheel in it, you’re creating even more of an intense stretch that focuses on your forward bending, backward bending, and balancing.

This pose has a hidden property of helping to not only calm the brain, but also help flush out sinuses in this minor inversion while you are simultaneously stretching the shoulders and hamstrings.

Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “My body fills with light and I feel still, calm, and ready for what’s to come.”

Let’s try it:

  • From Mountain Pose (Tadasana), bring your front foot onto your yoga wheel with a slight bend in your knee

  • Square off your hips to the front

  • Hinge your chest forward and as you straighten your front leg, lift your back leg into high relevé

  • Slightly bend your arms and grab your wheel for extra support

  • Stay for four to six breaths and then switch legs

4. Bound Low Lunge Pose (Baddha Anjaneyasana)

Adding in your yoga wheel to Low Lunge Pose helps stretch and strengthen your shoulders, back, and knees for a deep backbend.

This excellent heart and hip opener also helps give a deep stretch to your quadriceps by adding in a slight supported pushing action from your hips. Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “I will get what I focus on.”

Let’s try it:

  • From a Low Lunge, slowly lift your back foot on top of your yoga wheel

  • Carefully find your balance on your knee and square off your hips to the front of your mat

  • Bring back one or both of your hands to your wheel and foot and let your chest lift to the sky

  • Be mindful of your lower back and keep your core engaged throughout the pose

  • Hold for four to six breaths and then switch legs

5. Wide Legged Forward Fold Pose (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Working all of the top and bottom chakras, Wide Legged Forward Fold Pose encourages stability, confidence, self-control, and acceptance.

When it comes to how to use a yoga wheel in this intense leg stretch, it further enhances your ability to strengthen and lengthen your body while also helping reduce stress and release negative thoughts.

Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “I abandon thoughts that no longer serve me.”

Let’s try it:

  • From Wide Legged Forward Fold, start with one foot on your yoga wheel at a comfortable and stable distance

  • Slowly and with control, let the wheel inch out, deepening your stretch

  • Let both hands balance on the floor or lift one up in your mudra of choice

  • Hold for six to eight breaths before using your core to help bring your extended leg back in and then switch sides

6. Splits Pose (Hanumanasana)

This challenging seated pose requires all the work from your hips and hamstrings.

Since your hips and legs are moving in opposite directions, you have to make sure your hip flexors and hamstrings are strong and flexible to help keep you safe in this position.

Adding in your yoga wheel, you’re able to get deeper into the stretch without putting added pressure on your joints. Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “I abandon old habits and choose new, positive ones.”

Let’s try it:

  • Place the yoga wheel under your front foot and roll the wheel forward until it’s under your calf

  • Lift your torso and lengthen through your spine

  • Let your hips sink down while keeping them squared to the front of your mat

  • Use your arms or blocks for extra support

  • Hold for a few deep breaths before switching sides

7. Upward Facing Two Footed Staff Pose (Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana)

This advanced inverted backbend is a great pose to figure out how to use a yoga wheel. This pose is a complex combination of Wheel Pose, Fish Pose, Upward Plank, and Headstand.

It requires intense physical and mental flexibility while also giving you a wonderful full body stretch. Before beginning your pose, set your intention: “I will focus on what I can control and release the rest.”

Let’s try it:

  • Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor while you are sitting up

  • Place your hands lightly on the inside of your yoga wheel from behind to hold it in place

  • Lean back against the yoga wheel, release your hands, and press through your heels as you lift up your hips

  • Elongate through your spine over the wheel and broaden through your chest

  • Let the yoga wheel roll between your shoulder blades and position your forearms flat on the mat to grab the inside of the wheel

  • Relax your head and neck and engage your inner thighs

  • Hold for three to five breaths and then slowly reverse the movement to come out

Use a Yoga Wheel to Challenge Your Body AND Deepen Your Practice

Choosing to add or use a prop in your yoga practice helps to enhance your full awareness with the postures and dive deeper into your own yogi bond.

The main focus of the yoga wheel is to help open and support the body through slow controlled movements, breath, and extensions while also connecting deeper into your mindfulness to stay alert, active, and aware of what you’re doing.

It can help make challenging poses more accessible and boost your own confidence with your new mindset and strength. Not to mention, it helps make challenging poses more fun with added creative twists.

Through your journey I hope it’s filled with supported props (and friends) that help you create your own path to being your true authentic self.


Photo Credits: Terrence Jones Photography


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