< Blog < Do Yoga < Yoga Poses < 8 Yoga Wheel Poses [Full Body Stretch and Strength]

8 Yoga Wheel Poses [Full Body Stretch and Strength]

10 min read
a woman is practicing Bridge Pose with a yoga wheel_yoga wheel stretches
Elyce Neuhauser post Reviewer Elyce Neuhauser post Reviewer
The article is verified by Elyce Neuhauser
Yoga Expert, E-RYT 500, Certified Meditation Coach

Incorporate yoga wheel stretches into your practice to build strength and improve flexibility. Add these poses to your next yoga session!

28 day wall pilates challenge

Table of Contents

Yoga newbies and advanced practitioners alike can benefit from a yoga wheel, a prop designed to do everything, from relieving muscular tension to building total body strength and enhancing balance. 

If you are looking for some support for your practice, a yoga wheel for beginners can open a whole world of new stretch possibilities. Advanced practitioners can not only find creative inspiration from yoga wheel workouts but strengthen their core and find ways to go further with advanced backbends, inversions, and arm balances.

Using a yoga wheel can significantly improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Different yoga wheel stretches can be used to target many parts of the body, including the chest, back, hips, and thighs. 

What is a Yoga Wheel?

A yoga wheel is a circular prop, typically about a foot in diameter and five inches wide. The inner “shell” is made from a hard material, such as wood or plastic, and the outer part of the wheel is cushioned with foam, rubber, or cork.

Safety Tips For Your Yoga Wheel Workout

 Follow these safety measures before and during your practice:

  • Warm up thoroughly before doing any yoga wheel stretches.
  • To warm up using the yoga wheel, sit on the floor with your knees bent. Place the wheel in an upright position behind you and slowly roll back and forth over it to ease your way in, get your blood flowing, and prepare yourself for deeper backbends.
  • If you feel sharp pain or intense discomfort while using the yoga wheel, back off slowly.
  • Consult your physician prior to practicing if you have any injuries or chronic conditions.

You can also use our beginner-friendly, all-in-one yoga app to supplement your training with personalized guided sessions.

8 Yoga Wheel Stretches [From Accessible to Ambitious]

Yoga Wheel Stretches__yoga wheel pose chart

Here are eight yoga wheel stretches for your practice.

Let’s take a closer look at these poses, their benefits for your practice, and proper techniques.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)_yoga wheel stretches

This variation of Reclined Bound Angle is one of the more accessible beginner yoga wheel exercises as it can be easily modified for all levels. 

Besides opening the hips and stretching the groin, this pose helps broaden the chest, and it enhances the flexibility of the spine. 

How to Practice:

  • Sit on your mat with your knees bent and place the yoga wheel approximately 12 inches behind you. 
  • Bring the soles of your feet together and let the knees open out towards the floor.
  • With hands on the ground for support, lean back until your upper spine rests on the yoga wheel.
  • Keeping your spine extended and shoulders on your back, slowly lower your head onto the wheel without collapsing your neck.
  • If you are feeling steady, you may open your arms wide and turn your palms to face up to stretch the chest and shoulders. To modify the intensity, rest your hands on your legs or your heart.

Top tip: To stop the wheel from rolling away, place a towel, yoga block, or wedge behind it.

Related article: Yoga for Lats & Traps: 10 Poses to Stretch and Strengthen Your Back

High Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing High Lunge (Anjaneyasana)_yoga wheel stretches

This variation of High Lunge is challenging yet equally rewarding. Incorporating a yoga wheel increases the hip flexor stretch and strengthens the hamstrings, calf muscles, core, and upper body.

How to Practice:

  • From standing, step the right foot back into a lunge.
  • Place the yoga wheel underneath your right thigh, close to the knee. Hinge forward and bend the right knee in order to find the proper placement.
  • Frame your front foot with your palms. You may place yoga blocks underneath your hands if you have trouble reaching the floor.
  • Engage your core, hug the shoulder blades on the back, and lift the back foot, fully resting the right thigh on the wheel. Point the toes, keeping the leg extended and engaged. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths.
  • To exit, place your foot on the floor, bring your hands to your left thigh, remove the wheel, and return to standing. 
  • Repeat on the other side.

Top tip: For an additional stretch of the connected tissue, you may roll the thigh forward and back on the yoga wheel to massage your quadriceps.

Revolved Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Revolved Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana)_yoga wheel stretches

If you want to stretch your hamstrings and inner thighs, your yoga wheel workout should include a Wide Legged Forward Bend. Adding a twist improves spinal mobility and additionally stretches the shoulders.

How to Practice:

  • Stand with your feet parallel, facing the long edge of your mat, and step out wide. Place the yoga wheel in the center of the mat, slightly in front of your feet.
  • With your spine extended, hinge forward from your hips and place your left hand on the yoga wheel and your right hand on your hip.
  • Turn your torso to the right, rolling the wheel towards your right foot.
  • Keep your left hand on the wheel and raise your right arm directly above you. 
  • Turn your gaze down to the ground for more stability or upwards for more of a challenge and deeper twist of the cervical spine. 
  • To exit the pose, place your right hand on your hip, roll the wheel back to the center, switch hands and repeat on the other side.

Top tip: Turn your toes slightly inwards and engage your inner thighs for more stability. 

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)_yoga wheel stretches

This variation of Bridge Pose allows you to experience the benefits of inversion in a deeper way. It creates an enhanced backbend in your lumbar spine while stretching your chest, hips, and shoulders. 

How to Practice:

  • Sitting on your mat, bend your knees and plant your feet hip-width directly in front of your sit bones.
  • Place the yoga wheel behind you. Depending on the length of your torso, you may need to adjust this initial placement.
  • Lean back onto the wheel. Push into the feet as you roll back until your spine is extended over the wheel and your head rests on the floor gently. You may need to lift up onto your toes to position the wheel properly.
  • Extend your arms on the ground, on either side of the wheel, and stay in the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.

Top tip: Wrap a yoga strap around your thighs to prevent your knees from splaying apart.

Bound Crescent Lunge (Baddha Anjaneyasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Bound Crescent Lunge (Baddha Anjaneyasana)_yoga wheel stretches

Bound Crescent Lunge is a complex variation that requires extra focus and coordination. Enhance your balance skills while strengthening your core and simultaneously stretching the hip flexors, quads, chest, back, and shoulders. 

How to Practice:

  • From standing, step the right foot back into a lunge.
  • Place the yoga wheel underneath the right thigh, close to the knee.
  • Bring the torso to an upright position, stretch your arms down by your sides with palms facing forward, and draw the shoulders back to open the chest. Engage your abdominal muscles and lengthen your spine.
  • Stabilize the pose by keeping your core strong, your left foot grounded, and the left knee directly above the ankle.
  • Take your time as you bend your right knee, lifting the foot off the floor. Reach your hands back to take hold of the foot or ankle.
  • Keep your breath steady and press the foot back into your hands to open the chest and shoulders even more.
  • Stay steady as you exit the pose: release the bind, place the right foot slowly down to the floor, remove the wheel, and step forward.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Top tip: This is an intense variation, so move mindfully into the pose. You might feel enough of a stretch keeping the torso upright and the back foot on the floor. However, if you are feeling steady and your knees are healthy while you have the back foot up, consider enhancing the quadriceps and hip flexor stretch by drawing the foot a little closer to you. No matter what variation, do your best to keep your torso lifted instead of leaning forward. 

You may also like: How Often Should You Do Yoga?

Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Plank Pose (Phalakasana)_yoga wheel stretches

This advanced variation of Plank Pose strengthens your core, back, shoulders, legs, arms, and wrists. Along with challenging your balance, this posture builds mental focus and endurance.

How to Practice:

  • Lie on your belly and position the yoga wheel upright between your feet.
  • Press your hands under the shoulders, tuck your toes, and engage your core. Lift up into Plank Pose.
  • Carefully place the top of one foot onto the yoga wheel with the toes pointed.
  • To challenge yourself further, lift the other foot up off the floor, engaging the leg strongly.

Top tip: If this variation strains your wrists, press your fists into the ground instead, or come down onto your forearms.

Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)_yoga wheel stretches

This version of Upward Plank Pose uses the yoga wheel to build strength in your legs, glutes, and back while stretching the entire front of your body.

How to Practice:

  • Sitting on your mat with the legs extended forward, place the yoga wheel slightly behind you.
  • Lean back until your upper spine rests on the yoga wheel.
  • Engage your legs, core, and glutes to lift the seat up off the floor. Gently rest the back of your head on the wheel.
  • For a deeper stretch, extend your arms overhead and lift the chest upwards.

Top tip: Point your toes and press the balls of your feet towards the mat to maximize the front body stretch

Pike Handstand Prep (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

a woman is practicing yoga with a wheel, performing Pike Handstand Prep (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)_yoga wheel stretches

If you are struggling with advanced arm balances, using a yoga wheel can help you find the strength and space that you need. This pike variation teaches you to find appropriate positioning in a handstand while strengthening your core and upper body.

How to Practice:

  • Start standing with the yoga wheel behind your feet. 
  • Fold forward and walk your hands out into Plank Pose. 
  • Keeping your breath steady and your core engaged, bring your toes on top of the wheel, one foot at a time.
  • Pike your hips up by rolling the wheel towards you with your feet. Keep your spine extended and your legs as straight as possible.
  • Work to align your hips over your shoulders and over your wrists. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths.
  • To exit, keep your core engaged as you slowly roll back to Plank Pose. Carefully step your feet off the wheel and return to standing. 

Top tip: If you want more of a challenge, practice lifting one leg up at a time while in this pose.

Conclusion

Adding yoga wheel stretches to your practice can bring myriad benefits to your body. When you incorporate this prop into your yoga practice, you can:

  • Access deeper backbends;
  • Enhance your flexibility;
  • Release tension in your chest and hips;
  • Improve your posture;
  • Find better balance;
  • Build up your endurance;
  • Create more core strength.
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!



You may also like

We recommend reading