This past holiday season, I took part in a Yankee Swap (White Elephant) gift exchange at one of the yoga studios I work at and practice at. (If you never heard of this game check it out here. I highly recommend the game. I even do it with my family and it’s a blast!) Even though this was a yoga party, it became non-yogi very quickly (in a fun way, of course).
To start, I was the first to steal. Obviously everyone ahead of me was too nice. I saw the yoga wheel and I wanted it. Unfortunately, this was not long lived for me.
Someone jumped on the mean train with me and then took my wheel from me. As luck would have it, I chose an unwrapped gift for my "poor sucker" turn. It was another yoga wheel. Yay! Not quite. It was taken from me in a matter of seconds. There were two yoga wheels for the taking. I took both of them throughout the rounds, and both were stolen from me. The thieves of my yoga wheel(s) didn’t even flinch. To be fair, I would not have thought twice before stealing it back if I had the opportunity :)
When I went home I told my husband about this travesty, yes travesty.* As any supportive husband would do, mine stared at me, then continued playing his video game. Since I am a devoted yogi, I got over this “travesty” thanks to my knowledge and understanding of the Yamas & Niyamas. Plus, I had an awesome time at the holiday party anyway.
Fast forward a couple of days to Christmas morning. My husband was overly excited for me to open his present. When I did, a huge smile covered my face. MY VERY OWN YOGA WHEEL. To make it even better he told me he was relieved that I didn’t come home with it from the Yankee (Yogi) Swap. I guess my husband does listen to my stories after all :)
Two reasons for my Yoga Wheel excitement:
Massaging the spine. I will be using this wheel to help open up my front body and massaging my spine. Being hunched forward, whether in front of a computer or trying to keep warm in freezing outside temperatures, my shoulders and chest definitely need to be stretched out. This should also lead to better posture and allow me to get deeper breaths because of the extra room being formed in my lungs.
Assisting in asanas (poses). The wheel will help deepen my backbends and assist me in forearm stand. (Right now I am still using the wall just incase I over shoot my forearm stand.) I have also seen it used to help strengthen your core in balance poses!
Below is a picture of my bull terrier, Ruby. She is demonstrating one way you can utilize the yoga wheel. Not the most beneficial use, but still an option :)
Stay tuned for an upcoming post that will include information about backbends AND my yoga wheel experience!
*Disclaimer: The yankee (yogi) swap story was meant to be funny. In reality, I’m not that big of a selfish jerk.
**Disclaimer 2: Forgive any grammatical errors. I majored in mathematics :)