Decompress your back with our cork yoga wheels! In this blog, Dakota of Mays Yoga will be demonstrating 5 poses with variations using the yoga wheel to help aid back decompression.
1. Wheel Pose
Place middle of thoracic spine (chest region) on wheel and simply breath into the pose to allow your vertebrae to decompress as your tailbone lowers. The block is optional, but I highly recommend it if you’re new to exploring backbends with your yoga wheel!
Variation 2 is same as variation 1, but with a deeper stretch for the heart-space and shoulders due to the grip on the yoga wheel. Continue to allow the tailbone to drop low for a deeper stretch in the lower regions of the back!
This is a full wheel from your forearms, which brings the deepest stretch for your heart-space and shoulders, but gives you a different sensation for your lower back since the hips are now driving to ceiling, rather than lowering to the ground. Your legs can be bent in this pose to ease the stretch for your shoulders.
2. Reclined Hero Pose
Similar to wheel pose, but your legs are bent at the knees. Place middle of thoracic spine (chest region) on wheel and simply breath into the pose to allow your vertebrae to decompress as your tailbone lowers. You’ll notice a deep stretch in the quadriceps.
Same ques as variation 1, but with a deeper stretch for the heart-space and shoulders due to the grip on the yoga wheel.
Coming straight from variation 2, simply walk your finger toward your feet until you find your sweet spot. This variation brings the deepest stretch for your heart-space, shoulders, low back, and quadriceps!
3. Bridge Pose
This variation is very restorative without any deep stretching. Simply breath and notice the activation of your lymphatic system as your blood starts to come from your lower body to your head.
Get creative with your leg positioning in this pose. Each positioning can give your a different restorative sensation. (My personal favorite is a supported Savasana).
My personal favorite.. This is best done on a wall where your can let go of all tension in the legs and hips, again, to encourage the activation of your lymphatic system.
4. Side Bends
Find an angle that feels good for your body and simply breath into any tension that arises. Make sure that your spine is straight before bending to the side so that you keep the decompression as you lean over the wheel.
5. Scorpion/Chin Stand
This is the most intense pose on this list, so make sure you’re warm and loose first! As you enter the pose, be sure to SLOWLY bring your leg weight on top of your chest.
Your elbows need to be directed over the heels of your hand for you to have full strength in this pose.
Once your feel balanced, give a gentle pull at the lower back while gently pulling your heels to your butt. This engagement while help keep you balanced and protected from injury.
As always, be safe with each variation and ALWAYS respect the limits of your body!
Keep up with Dakota!