It’s circular, it’s wooden, and it’s starting to be seen everywhere. The Dharma Yoga Wheel, as it’s officially called, was initiated from the masterminds of Sri Dharma Mittra (who founded one of the earliest independent schools of yoga in New York City in the 70s), his son Dov Vargas (a renowned Dharma yoga teacher who also goes by the name Yogi Varuna), and Raquel Vamos (another renowned yogi who has been teaching for six years). By using this multi-functional hand-crafted wheel, beginner and veteran yogis are able to increase their flexibility and strength to safely achieve those challenging backbend and inversion poses that we all know of. Take a look!
Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose: Begin in Hero Pose, kneeling on the floor with your inner knees together and your hips in between your feet. Raise your hips a few inches from the ground and roll the wheel against your behind. Lean back over the wheel in a comfortable position, allowing gravity to open your back. When you’re ready, reach your arms overhead, bending your elbows and taking hold of the wheel. Situate your hands as close to your feet as you can, then rest on the wheel in Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose.
Hanumanasana or Monkey Pose: Sitting down, begin by extending your right leg in front of you with your heel touching the floor. Leaning your torso forward, begin sliding your left knee backward so that the center of your left knee and the top of your left foot are pressing into the floor. Then use one of your hands to place the yoga wheel under your right ankle. Once you find your balance as your left leg reaches directly behind you, go as deep into the Hanumanasana Pose as you can. Reach your arms straight up to the ceiling, then back into a backbend.
Double Pincha Mayurasana or Feathered Peacock Pose: This one’s for you and a partner, inversion pose-style! Start by placing the yoga wheel in between you both, then rest your forearms and knees on the ground. Grabbing hold of the wheel at the same time, raise your legs while comfortably firm on your forearms, keeping the balance as you go up. As you bring your right and left feet together, straighten your body as much as possible until you achieve forearm balance. (Keep in mind that this can be an intimidating pose and should be done with supervision in the beginning.) Other poses that can be achieved (and enhanced) with the yoga wheel are Vriksasana or Tree Pose, Vrschikasana or Scorpion Pose, and Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana or One-Legged Upward Bow Pose. If you’ve tried any other ones this way, we’d love for you to share them in the comment section below!
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.