If you're at all involved in the Instagram yoga scene, you've probably seen the Dharma Yoga Wheel. It's the new prop on the block, and it's already one of the most popular yoga-objects seen on the social media platform. For good reason. It's versatility is helping with the boom. It comes in a variety of sizes, and is being used by newbie yogis, and experienced practitioners alike to deepen backbends and loosen up the spine. The PVC version is sturdy, made of PVC composite and covered in yoga-mat material for optimum traction and stability.
The following is the history of the Dharma Yoga Wheel according to the company's homepage.
The company was founded by Dov Vargas and Raquel Vamos in August 2014. The wheel is manufactured in the U.S and is now being sent around the world. When the company first began Raquel and Dov never imagined it would grow the way that it has. This revolutionary wheel is specifically designed to match the contour of the spine and help aide in back bending for all athletes and house holders. [Dov and Raquel] have worked hard to keep improving the wheel and now the company is going toward an environmentally friendly product. The new Eco wheel will be released in November and the team couldn’t be more excited for the growth and expansion of the Wheel. You can find sequence charts on the website and a poster including 108 poses created by the founders of the company and a soon to be release DVD. Dharma Yoga Wheel is the original and first wheel of it’s kind. They have paved the way to be a new sector in the yoga industry.
Why the Dharma Yoga Wheel Rocks
As evidenced by the photos included in this article, my upper vertebrae seem to be fuzed and made of iron. Meaning: I have ZERO flexibility in my upper back. The Dharma Yoga Wheel allows me to focus on increasing flexibility in my iron-spine, and lets me access poses that would otherwise be completely off-limits to me in my yoga practice. Is this dangerous? Not at all if you know how to listen to your body. The Wheel provides a stable base for deep backbends, letting you relax into the postures rather than flighting against feeling like you're going to collapse.
[bctt tweet="The Dharma Yoga Wheel allows me to focus on increasing flexibility in my iron-spine."]
Why it's probably better than a block
At least for some postures.
The Wheel is round (duh) which enables it to better fit the curves of your body. Whether you're using it under your leg, or under your sternum, it's going to be more comfortable that a rectangular block. It's also textured like a yoga mat, so when you're using it on your sticky mat, ultimate stability occurs, letting you push/pull yourself a little bit deeper into your challenging pose.
It's also extremely versatile. It's equally valuable in balance postures as backbends, and you can get creative and use it in any number of other ways.
Meet the Reviewer:
Sarah’s Activities: An all around athlete and cardioholic, Sarah’s workouts include swimming, spinning/cycling, running, yoga, CrossFit, weightlifting and anything else that’s difficult. You can expect that her workout apparel get’s put through the ringer.
Holy crap this thing is STURDY, and much heavier than I expected. It's made of heavy-duty PVC and covered in yoga mat material for traction. I'm pretty sure my dad could safely use this thing, and he's a real big guy.
This is by far the best yoga prop I've ever used. No lie.
I'll start by saying that I freaking LOVE backbends. They're my jam. The only problem area I have is my iron upper back, and the Yoga Wheel is amazing at targeting any area of your spine that might feel a little tight. You've probably noticed that throughout this article there are images of poses with and without the Wheel's assistance. Consistently, the poses with the Wheel gave me a deeper stretch without straining to keep balance or break form. I was actually able to relax into Hanumanasana and stretch my hamstrings safely rather than feeling like my groin was going to give out. I could focus on opening up my upper back in Fish Pose without risking damage to my wrists and forearms.
[bctt tweet="Poses with the Wheel gave me a deeper stretch without straining to balance."]
I think the Dharma Yoga Wheel has a place in every yogi's practice, either as a the focus of your practice or as a supplemental tool. Because of it's versatility, it can be used for many directions of movement, not only backbends. I've seen it used in arm balances and I've seen it stood on in balancing postures. I tested it in seated forward bend and it behaved exactly like a yoga strap, but with more rigidity and strength.
There are hundreds of ways to use this prop, and with so many creative yogis using it and posting their poses on Instagram, the options are pretty much limitless.
Score: 10 out of 10
Interested in learning more, learning how to use or ordering a Dharma Yoga Wheel? Watch the video below for a short tutorial to get you started, and be sure to check out the company website and all of your wildest dreams might come true.