As an important and growing part of the workforce, women are working harder than before; with more work and stress and less “me” time. Women juggle many responsibilities and don’t have the opportunity to take time out of their busy lives to take care of themselves.
The combination of demanding targets with long working hours and vigorous demands of household chores takes a toll on woman’s health, including body & back pain tension from poor posture and work demands.
All these chronic back pain symptoms are preventable. Doing Yoga with yoga wheel can be an excellent self-care tool especially for busy working woman, having a regular yoga practice will help to improve posture, pain relief and reduce stress.
The world’s first yoga wheel was designed to help stretch and release tension and muscular tightness in the back, chest, shoulders, abdomen and hip flexors. Working women being desk-bound throughout the day can cause back and shoulder stiffness, yoga wheel is just amazing at ironing out knots and releasing that tension.
Practicing gentle yoga poses with a yoga wheel provides a means to soothe away soreness and discomfort. It also is brilliant for easing back pain and works wonders to massage the length of the spine. You can roll on it, lay on it and it really helps to open your shoulders like no block or others props can.
Beside a great stretch after a hard day at the office, releasing pain & muscular tension, rolling on a yoga wheel will create space in the spine and also develop mobility in the entire body safely & efficiently. Yoga wheel helps develop flexibility and is particularly good if you are doing those difficult stretches like deep backward bending poses; it can help you stay upright, supported and avoid injures.
Relying on a yoga wheel is also one of the best ways to strengthen your core and back muscles, helping to make you stronger and stop you from hunching. Overall, it is a simple and safe way to ease people into yoga poses and because of its versatility, women should fit it into their busy lives. Moreover, it could save time and money instead of booking a masseur! Here, we will recommend three yoga poses by using the yoga wheel to improve your shoulders and back flexibility:
Yoga Wheel: Forearm wheel Pose (Chakra Bandhasana) is great for the flexibility of the shoulders and it helps strengthen your upper arms, spine and leg muscles, and also opens the chest & lungs.
The thyroid and pituitary glands are stimulated as the neck and head get the fresh flow of blood in this pose, calms your nervous system and balances your hormones.
Mentally, it is energizing your body and also helps bring clarity to the mind, relieves stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
Step one: Bend your knees and placing your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart; place the yoga wheel directly behind your back, aligned and parallel with your spine; roll your shoulder back and put your hands on the floor beside the wheel, extend your torso and lead on the top of yoga wheel;
Step two: Inhale and as you exhale, extend your spine and arms up;
Step three: Deepen the pose; reach hands back to hold the wheel;
Step four: Lift your hips up; engage your core and tights begin to roll and walk back reaching elbows and head toward the mat;
Step five: Reach back keeping elbows and grab inside of the wheel behind your head, straighten your feet out and toes point and chest forward, stay for 5-10 breaths.
Seated with butterfly legs and release the arms at the sides, relax your head and neck comfortably lean on the top of wheel then sit up with easy crossed legs and twist left & right and vice versa.
Simply lying supine with knees bent and roll from left to right for massaging the back.
Yoga Wheel: Fish Pose (Matsyasana) is an excellent chest-opening backbend pose that opens up your chest, shoulders, and neck. This pose is great to open up the front body and combating poor posture we tend to carry throughout the day. It helps to melt away the tension on our upper body, improving the shoulders and back flexibility. Tones the parathyroid, pituitary and pineal organs and it quits draining hemorrhoids.
Step one: Bend your knees and placing your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart; place the yoga wheel directly behind your back, aligned and parallel with your spine; extend your torso and arms up over the head;
Step two: Inhale and as you exhale, lean backward, relax your head and neck, extending your spine on the top of the yoga wheel and hips remain on the floor;
Step three: Deepen the pose, reach hands back to hold the wheel; straighten your legs, point your toes and internally rotate your hips, squeezing your inner tights together, and hold it for 5 – 10 breaths.
Lay down flat on the floor, turn the head to right & left; holding the thighs and roll your back left & right and front & back for few times.
Bridge Pose (the following pose)
Yoga Wheel: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha) Variation with legs lift up is an excellent for stretching shoulders, chest, abdomen and thigh muscles; tones back, gluteus, inner thigh and hamstring muscles and it helps relieve neck pain, improves breathing by stretching respiratory muscles, blood circulation and immune function. Calm the nerves by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, decrease depression and anxiety symptoms, ease fatigue.
Step one: Sit on the floor with straight legs, shoulders roll back, chest forward, place the yoga wheel directly behind your back, aligned and parallel with your spine, hands holding the bottom of yoga wheel;
Step two: Take an inhalation, and as you exhale, lift your hips up and wriggle the wheel underneath to low back region;
Step three: Roll back until your shoulders and head comfortably reach on the mat; placing the yoga wheel on your lower back region and lengthen from pelvis to sternum;
Step four: Engage your core and back muscles, inch your shoulder blades, grab the wheel underneath for balancing, point your toes and internally rotate your hips, squeezing your inner thighs together, lift both legs up off the floor and parallel to the ground, open and expand your chest with each inhale, stay for 5-10 breaths.
Lay down flat on the mat, turn the head to right & left; holding the thighs and roll your back left & right and front & back for few times.
Reclined Bound Angle pose, lay down flat on the mat, and open the hips and relieve the legs, and then take a couple of supine twists, which are thought to neutralize the spine.
It can be challenging to practice the above poses fully; listen to your body; you can always stay in one of the steps as a modification pose.
For women who don’t get time to work on self-improvement, simply take it as a daily regular practice, back / pain relief is just minutes away, and it could be your first step to start balancing your work and life.
Enjoy the practice!
by Keshav, Pose Demonstration by Vienna Mak