Understand the yoga wheel benefits for runners, and try these yoga wheel poses to get an even deeper stretch. Check out the pose guide, review and GIVEAWAY for the YogDev Yoga Wheel! Then link up with Running Coaches Corner for more great posts!
The Yoga Wheel for Runners
When I first heard about the yoga wheel, I thought, “Ok, that’s cool, but how does it apply to me? I am a runner, and I do yoga just fine. Aren’t yoga wheels for those that need major modifications or are REALLY good at yoga? I mean, I adore yoga, as you all know, but I am not as much of a yogi as I used to be (remember the summer of hot yoga?).”
Ok, so I got into a bit of a conversation with myself. Don’t act like you don’t.
Then I looked into the yoga wheel poses, and I realized how many of them would be so beneficial for runners. I knew that these would be excellent for myself and my clients.
Yoga Wheel Benefits for Runners
Balance and Stability The yoga wheel is dynamic and forces you to work in your poses, but the yoga wheel also offers a chance for stability as a prop in certain poses. This allows you to work up to hands-free poses (like standing bow/dancer), which improve the stability and proprioception (awareness) in your ankles and feet.
Alignment and Symmetry The yoga wheel is not built for 2 feet to be on it at the same time. Consequently, as you practice your poses on either side, you will be able to determine asymmetry and imbalances on either side of your body and work towards correcting them. Remember my unilateral core and glute exercises for runners?
Hidden Core Work Introducing instability, getting further into poses, working on either side of your body, and the dynamic nature of the wheel means that your core is always in action. No rest for the wicked!
Enhanced Stretches The yoga wheel bypasses our mental blocks and helps us relax and gently roll forward (or backward) into poses.
Of course, there are a myriad of other benefits offered by the yoga wheel (from spinal alignment during backbends to inversion assistance), but these are the benefits that I think most interest runners. So, how do we achieve those benefits and use the yoga wheel? Try out these yoga wheel poses that stretch and develop your running body (and are accessible for those who are regular practitioners of yoga as well as those who haven’t dabbled all the much).
Runners, do you have tight hamstrings? You need to try this! @yogdevyoga #runchat #ad Click To Tweet
Effective Yoga Wheel Poses for Runners
I am not a yoga teacher, and these poses are examples and should not be taken as a yoga sequence.
The following poses focus on the hips, hamstrings, quads, core, and lower leg stabilizers, with dash of chest openers. Aka, all the things that you need for running!
- Seated Forward Fold
- Forward Lunge with Yoga Wheel Hooked on Back Foot (Video Tutorial)
- Forward Lunge with Foot On Wheel (Video Tutorial)
- Hamstring Stretch (Video Tutorial)
- King Cobra (Deep Hip and Quad Opener)
- Sugarcane Pose (Major Hip Opener)