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SriLakshmi

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Yoga is an art of exercises that lets your body, mind, and soul stretch to their maximum capacity. Yoga wheels are beneficial yoga accessories that enhance the glee of stretching asanas safely. Performing yoga with an aesthetically designed wheel deepens your stretches and increases flexibility. Yoga wheels come with excellent benefits and can take your yoga practice to the next level. You can also use it on your office chair as back support to keep your spine erect and sit in a healthy position. 

This article will discuss yoga wheels, their benefits, how to use a yoga wheel, any disadvantages of yoga wheels, and how to buy the best yoga wheels. Later, we’ll present to you the top 5 best yoga wheels to choose from.

What Is A Yoga Wheel?

It is an incredible therapeutic tool to enhance your yoga practice. It is a round, ring-shaped device made from cork or plastic with foam padding. It comes in different sizes and is used to stretch muscles and boost blood circulation. No matter if you are a beginner or an amateur yogi, you can perform its exercises all by yourself.

Yoga Wheels Benefits

Practicing yoga with wheels has immense physical and health benefits. Some of the essential yoga wheel benefits include:

  • Helps Perform Difficult Stretches Safely: Inversion (a yoga pose when the heart is above the ground compared to the head) and backbend are quite difficult poses to perform. But yoga wheel stretches let you enjoy these poses safely and efficiently.
  • Back Massage: Another attractive benefit is using yoga wheels for back pain and massaging your spine. You can rub a yoga wheel for back pain by lying your back on yoga wheels and using your legs to move up and down. It may also help relieve back pain.
  • Prevents Injury: It provides support while performing various asanas and prevents injuries. It gives you the freedom to stretch to your maximum capacity safely.
  • Improves Flexibility: Adding a yoga wheel to your daily routine helps to gain confidence while stretching. You will get increased flexibility of hip muscles essential for inversions and backbends. 
  • Improves Breathing: Many people work most of their office hours sitting in a chair. It results in a sunken posture. The spine mobility gets reduced, and the body becomes immovable and firmer. Yoga wheels, allowing us to do backbends and increase the body movements, also enhance diaphragm functions, which leads to improved breathing.
  • Improves Stamina: The yoga wheel may also help build your stamina and strength. We recommend you to use it for its immense benefits. 
  • Keep Your Spine Erect: You can put in between your office chair and your back, supporting your back and spine to be erect. It corrects your postures and improves the punching of your back.

How To Choose One Of The Best Yoga Wheels?

You may find many yoga wheels in the market, but only a few are the best. Certain factors separate the ordinary yoga wheels from the best ones. Let’s delve into the features that make a yoga wheel the best yoga wheel for stretching.

Weight Limit

You should pick a wheel for yoga that can withstand double your weight. It must not bend or break while you are sitting and standing on it. However, if you want to do only stretching exercises, you can go for a lower weight limit yoga wheel.

Size

Yoga wheels come in three standard sizes. The mini wheels are suitable for people with petite body structures. The standard wheel should work for all body types.

Material

Yoga wheels are made from cork or ABS Plastic(a thermoplastic polymer). Although ABS plastic may be more durable, it is not eco-friendly. Cork might be expensive than plastic but is more sustainable. Hence, we recommend going for cork yoga wheels because cork is durable, sturdy, and eco-friendly. 

Padding

Foam is a commonly used material for padding. Padding thickness varies from wheel to wheel, and so does the comfort level. Some paddings are odor and sweat resistant. The sweat-absorbing paddings may give an unpleasant smell after some uses.

Grip

It is another essential feature of the yoga wheel. The best yoga wheels for stretching offer a good grip and don’t slip and slide while performing on them.

You can perform many yoga wheel stretches with yoga wheels. It is a perfect stretching tool that can be used to do back ends, headstands, wall stands, knee tucks, planks, etc. You can also perform some balancing exercises on it. Some other exercises and yoga wheel pose include: 

  • Wheel-assisted Child Pose
  • Reclining Easy Pose
  • Wheel-assisted Fish Pose
  • Wheel-assisted Upward-FacingTwo-Foot Staff Pose
  • Wheel-assisted Half Pyramid Pose
  • Wheel-assisted Lizard Lunge
  • Yoga Wheel Crow Pose 

Tips For Better Use Of A Yoga Wheel

  • Start Slow. Take a chill pill and be careful while using a yoga wheel for stretching.  Always do some warm-up exercises before starting.
  • Don’t overstretch. People doing more and more yoga wheels exercises or putting more pressure on their neck may suffer from neck or spine injury.
  •  Stretch carefully and cautiously.
  • Cleaning. Make a habit of cleaning your yoga wheel daily for prolonged durability. You can wipe it with a towel or use a scrub to clean the inner circle and padding. 

Top 6 Yoga Wheels For Healthy Stretching

Now that we’ve learned a lot about yoga wheels, how they can help improve our health in different ways, and how to use a yoga wheel. Let’s go through the top 6 yoga wheels we’ve selected after researching and testing various products through the market.

1. REEHUT Yoga Wheel – Back Pain for Strong Premium Back-Roller, Stretcher with Thick Cushion for Dharma Yoga Pose, Backbend & Stretching

Do you want to enjoy yoga? Of course, you want to. Then we have the solution in the form of a REEHUT yoga wheel. Now you can perform each yoga pose with confidence and ease. It is made from TPE (a recyclable plastic and is generally safe to use) foam and releases stress on you and nature. Provide comfort to your back and hands.

It is 12.6″ (32cm) diameter, 5″ (12.7 cm) wide, and can withstand a weight of around 330 lbs (149.68 kg). Being superlight, therefore, it is travel-friendly 2.86 lb (1.29 kg). You can easily build your flexibility and stamina by stretching your body. The features like anti-skid and sweat-resistant help to enjoy various stretching exercises. 

The wheel comes with anti-bacterial features. So, you are not required to clean the wheels. What are you waiting for, lazy bums! Just grab this yoga wheel and perform various poses with confidence.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic and skin-friendly
  • Comes with an anti-bacterial coating
  • It can withstand 330 lbs (149,68kg)
  • Reasonable price
  • High on resisting the impact
  • Stable
  • Sweat-resistance material provides optimal grip

Cons

  • Padding may not be a good option for heavy-weight people
  • Might not be very comfortable while using it

2. Pete’s choice Dharma Yoga Wheel- Comfortable & Durable, Increase Flexibility and Ideal Back Stretcher

Dharma wheel for yoga is often the right choice for yoga enthusiasts who are looking for a yoga wheel for back pain. It is one of the right choices for homemakers and office goers. Lightweight and comfy wheels help to relax your body. It offers deep massage to the back and improves posture and balance. 

Dharma wheel for yoga is made from 100 percent top-quality materials. It is hypoallergenic and skin-friendly. The material is safe, impact-resistant, and durable. You can easily challenge yourself to complete the next level of exercise. The regular practice of yoga with wheel will help you to get rid of back pain. You can easily tone your body. The sizes are 13″ (33cm) diameter and 5.1″ (12,95 cm) width

There are different combinations available with yoga straps and yoga blocks. An eco-friendly option in cork is also accessible.

Pros

  • Temperature –resistance
  • Practical strap for providing additional support
  • Sturdy and robust to sustain the weight up to 350 lbs (158,75 kg)
  • Durable and safe
  • Withstand 
  • After the purchase, you will get a free eBook
  • Lifetime warranty, peace of mind guarantee

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavyweight people
  • Some don’t get an ebook (Take initiative and sent them an email)
  • Missing strap in some shipments

3. Shogun Sports Yoga Wheel- Back Pain, Stretching, Improving Flexibility, and Backbends.

A California-based company designs it. It was made for yoga addicts. This fantastic yoga wheel is made for you if you love to challenge yourself. Reach the next level of fitness by adding it to your daily routine. 

It comes with a robust inner core that can withstand up to 500 lbs (226.80 kgs) in weight. The anti-skid padding provides extra safety and comfort. The padding is eco-friendly that offers support to the back so that you can try different poses. 

Also, bacteria-free and sweat-free padding will help to work without any worries of germs. It is a light-weight yoga wheel that can be transported easily. You can select this wheel if you want to build a robust and flexible body.

Pros

  • Perfect to use for both advanced yogis and beginners.
  • The best yoga wheel for back pain
  • Increases flexibility
  • Provides extra support and comfort for performing any type of exercise
  • 60 days money-back guarantee and 1 Year warranty of there are manufacturing defects
  • Designed and made by a US operated company 
  • Suitable for plus size people

Cons

  • Might be too wide
  • Padding is quite thick that can be hard for beginners
  • A few buyers prefer foam rollers

4. ATIVAFIT Sports Yoga Wheel – Back Pain, improve Yoga Poses, Perfect for Stretching, and Improving Flexibility and Backbends

It is an attractive yoga wheel that is curated for providing relief from back pain. It also improves flexibility, balance, and strength of the upper body. Made up of top-quality material and can sustain the approx. 220 lbs (99.80 kgs) of weight. It is available 12” (30.50cm) ,10’’ (25.4cm) and 5’’ (12.7cm) diameter.

You can easily do different poses with the ATIVAFIT yoga wheel. It supports stretching back, chest, and hips. You can also tone your upper body, as well as increasing your core strength. The thick padding protects the body while performing exercises. 

The material is safe, durable, and stable. It is lightweight and portable so you can carry it anywhere. Don’t be conscious of body odor as it is odorless and sweat-resistant. You can also use this yoga wheel to ease the stress from your back. 

Pros

  • Eco-friendly and premium wheel material
  • Affordable
  • Available in different colors
  • Thick padding 0.2” (6mm) provides comfort and support to the back, feet, and palm.
  • Odorless and sweat-resistant material
  • Money-back guarantee if you are not happy
  • Very light, it weighs about 2.2 lbs (1kg)

Cons

  • We found it to be wobbly

5. URBNFit Yoga Wheel & Strap Set – Designed for Dharma Yoga Wheel Pose – for Stretching and Increased Flexibility

This Wheel comes with a strap, as an addition, to perfect your Yogic experience. The manufacturer URBNFit has great confidence in their product, which is the reason they are giving you lifetime guarantee. It measures around 12” (30.48 cm) in diameter and can withstand 500 lbs (226.79 kg). Made from anti-flex PVC material. It is quite durable and sturdy. And it comes with a free guide that is beneficial for beginners. 

It offers a good option for people who want to increase the flexibility of the body. Also, it helps to perform different stretching exercises. 

Pros

  • Comes with a user guide
  • Sweat-resistant and soft foam
  • Lifetime money-back guarantee 
  • It’s a yoga wheel and strap set combo
  • Well built
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • It is less durable, according to the customer’s reviews.
  • Some customers have experienced the issue of wheel snapping
  • The shipments are missing the strap

6. UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel Set – Strongest & Most Comfortable, Back Pain and Stretching

If you are confused about sizes, then you can go for this fantastic yoga wheelset. It has three different sizes that help to perform various poses. It is the right choice as each wheel can support approximately 550 lbs (250 kg approx) of weight. It comes with a full padded from the exterior. 

Three different sizes are 12” (30.50cm) ,10’’ (25.4cm) and 6’’(15.24cm) diameter. It is recommended to start with the large yoga wheel. They don’t bend or flex with pressure. The set is the best choice as compared to the foam roller. It is light in weight and comes with a sweat-wicking feature. 

Additionally, it comes with a money-back guarantee, returns, and full refund. So, this is one of the great yoga wheels that you can go for!

Pros

  • It has three yoga wheels of different sizes.
  • Has thick padding outside for extra comfort
  • Comes in attractive colors
  • Efficient and works better than a foam roller
  • Sturdy!
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a Yoga Wheel Guide PDF including 18 poses
  • Excellent customer service, 30 days money back if you are not happy

Cons

  • Few customers have reported peeling of rubber
  • Exercises for the 6” (15.24cm) wheel in the PDF are missing
  • Might be too expensive

Conclusion: Our Pick For The Winner

The yoga wheel exercises can hugely influence the overall mental and physical health. Also, it is quite essential to use the tool in the right manner. It helps to increase yoga practice and perform complicated poses. You can also get rid of body pain, improve strength, balance, and flexibility. 

Our choice for the best yoga wheel is UpCircleSeven Yoga Wheel Set. It helps to strengthen abs, upper body parts, and lower body parts. It is available in three sizes and various colors. Its thick padding with sweat-resistant features provides extra comfort and cushion. It is one of the strongest of its kind.

Therefore, we recommend you go for the UpCircleSeven Yoga wheelset. You will be able to perform all kinds of stretching exercises. It is quite comfortable and easy to use. It also provides excellent value for money. The yoga wheel is becoming quite popular among yogis. It is one of the best tools to increase yoga practice. 

Sri Lakshmi

Be careful when you perform the Bhujangasana, better known as the cobra pose. You might notice your body becoming serpent-like, suddenly your hair will turn into multiple snakes, and your gaze will turn everyone into stone… Okay, let’s stop being overdramatic. Of course, performing the cobra pose won’t turn you into Medusa! Although Yoga might be older than the story of Medusa or Greek Mythology in general.

Bhujangasana Or Cobra Pose – Origin And Significance

Bhujangasana is the Sanskrit term for asana Yoga, alternatively known as cobra pose. Bhujangasana is a highly regarded Yoga cobra position, first outlined in the Gheranda Samhita (better known as Gherandas collection and one of the ancient texts of Hatha yoga cobra pose), one of the three classical Hatha Yoga scriptures of the 17th century. Chapter 2 of this manuscript identifies thirty-two asanas for strengthening the body, out of which the cobra pose is the penultimate pose. 

Reflective of its name, traditional scriptures say that Bhujangasana or cobra pose boosts body heat. When the body’s heat is freed to rise through the repeated practice of meditation and Yoga, it creates a sense of liberation. Its significance is also seen in the illustrations of the Buddha with a cobra placed above his head, marking his enlightened state.

Cobra Pose – Scientific Significance

Yoga masters or teachers recommend the mastery of one asana, i.e., the cobra pose. Performing Pranayama (a powerful yogic breathing technique) precisely and in a peaceful and quiet environment, the muscles and joints relax. The soothing impulses return to the brain and unwind.

Other benefits include mental wellbeing, better health, and fearlessness of mind. Bhujangasana aims to reinforce the spine and stretches everything between the navel and the chin. Even a little time spent in Bhujangasana counts for a lot to reduce stress and anxiety in particular.

The cobra pose expands the shoulders and the neck, stretches the muscle fibers in the shoulders and chest, and strengthens the arms. It can be considerably effective at relieving distress in the back, neck, and abdominal muscles.

One of the significant advantages of Bhujangasana is that it greatly improves blood circulation. Yoga Cobra pose is perceived to be one of the best asanas to have a flat stomach.

Which Muscles Benefit From The Cobra Pose

  1. Trapezius: The Trapezius muscle extends from the back of the head down to the shoulder blade.Trapezius is partly responsible for the movement of the head and the neck.
  2. Hamstring: The three long muscles that run along the back of the thigh are the hamstring muscles. They stretch the hip, bend the knee, and rotate the lower leg. In the cobra pose, the hamstrings in the hip extension of the pose are the focal point.
  3. Erector Spinae:  It is a collection of muscles and tendons in the back that regulate the extension and rotation of the spine. Because they are responsible for straightening the spine, the resilience of the erector spinae muscles is closely linked to the yoga cobra pose. 
  4. Abdominal muscles- Rectus abdominis: The abdominals are found in the lower abdomen between the ribs and the pelvis. They govern the pelvis tilting and the lower spine curve. Engaging the transversus abdominis muscle (one of the muscles in the belly) during the cobra pose stabilizes the spine.

Benefits Of Bhujangasana Or Cobra Pose 

It is one of the uncommon exercises that benefit the whole body from the toes to the head and improves physical and mental health. The most appreciative point is that it does not necessitate any specific types of tools to be conducted and can be accomplished in-home within a minute. Given below are some benefits of incorporating the yoga cobra stretch in your daily fitness routine:

  • Works On And Strengthens Your Spine: 

As the yoga Cobra position is useful in helping your back with a good lengthening, it is very beneficial in strengthening your spine. It is designed to stretch the lower and upper areas of your back. But if you have chronic back pain, consulting a doctor is recommended to make sure you do not have any potential side effects.

research paper was published on the influence of postures, especially Cobra Pose, and its effects on a hormonal level. It was only done on seven men and one woman in the age between 22-50 years. The results showed an increase in testosterone and a decrease in cortisol. Therefore it might help in anxiety. 

  • Might Improve Circulation Of Oxygenated Blood:

Good circulation of blood is the key to staying productive and invigorated. One of the major advantages of Bhujangasana is that it significantly improves blood circulation. Once you’ve got your blood flowing, your cells will have enough nutrients and oxygen. Improved circulation of blood will also help restore hormonal balance.

  • May relieve Shooting Pains Caused By Sciatica (Back pain caused by having issues with a nerve in the lower back) :

The deformation of the sciatic nerve causes pain in the legs or is generally recognized as tight soft muscles. The only solution to this problem is expanding flexibility and lengthening the spinal cord to alleviate the pressure off the soft tissues. Yoga cobra stretch is the most helpful for healing this pain and plays a vital role in gentle spinal straining. For those who are enduring this problem, cobra stretch is the perfect cure for it. However, for Yogis, which had or have a Spinal Canal Stenosis (Congestion of spinal canal), which is the cause of this sciatic pain, we recommend to speak with their doctor or physiotherapist before doing this pose. Extension in Spinal Canal can worsen the pain!

  • Could Be Supportive If You Are Suffering Under Dysmenorrhea Better Known As Painful Menstrual Cramps:

As a woman, I don’t have to tell you when your monthlies arrive. Meanwhile, you are lying in your bed with a hot-water bottle, trying to ease your pain and showing your nails and fangs to the world. In this study, conducted on 92 female students (18-22 years), it has been highlighted that performing the cobra pose, along with cat and fish poses, reduced the pain and span of primary dysmenorrheaSo it might help you if you perform the Asanas regularly.

  • It Might Be Helpful In Losing Belly Fat:

It is well-known that the yoga pose helps to burn belly fat. Retaining the pose for a prolonged time provides the entire abdominal region with appropriate stretching. The metabolic processes in the body are also regulated, and it helps to resolve weight and obesity issues. Not only does it solve weight problems, but it is also helpful for a flat stomach.

  • Maybe Good For Therapeutic Neck And Back Pain:

One often feels pain or discomfort in their neck and shoulder regions after a difficult, hectic day. If you want to relieve the strain from the neck and the back region and put some pressure off, exercise the cobra stretch. With this, we can find the solution to Yoga cobra pose back pain queries that people search over the internet. The cobra stretch is the most appropriate option for you to loosen all your muscles, mainly the back ones.

  • Might Work On The Digestive System:

Regular cobra workout practice promotes gastric juice efflux, which acts on challenges such as indigestion, constipation, etc. The yoga asana also provides the gastrointestinal tract a soothing massage by flexing the frontal plane, promoting the ideal working of abdominal organs.

  • Can Be Helpful For Asthmatic Patients (Under Strict Supervision):

Yoga cobra pose ensures an optimal expansion of the chest and lungs. It mainly helps in expanding the inner region of the lungs. That it might be helpful for Asthma is also listed in this research paper. Lung expansion prevents asthmatic incidents and other problems with breathing. 

  • Could Tone Your Upper And Lower Body:

In cobra stretch, as you contour your back, the spine receives a decent stretch, helping to strengthen the spinal column. Also, it strengthens and tones the biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, deltoid muscles and firms and tones the buttocks, leading to a great, healthy physical structure.

When To Perform This Asana?

Bhujangasana requires you to sleep on your stomach to perform this pose. It also necessitates a body to do a lot of contorting and bending. Therefore, make sure that you conduct a cobra pose on an empty stomach. Practicing Yoga on an empty stomach is the best way to get the most from a yoga practice. This includes eating the last big meal 4 hours before, with the option of a quick snack up to 1 hour before. A quick snack counts as something light, like a salad or fruit.

Doing yoga positions removes energy from digestion since that energy is now consumed by bending and twisting and constant inhalation and exhalation. It means that your body doesn’t process vitamins and minerals fully, and food might get stuck instead of moving along. It could leave you painfully bloated or gaseous.

Early morning is the best recommended time to perform this asana since your body is rejuvenated, and most benefits can be squeezed out of this asana. Choose a calm and peaceful environment, where early morning sunlight and air can penetrate, preferably on a terrace or in a backyard.

10 to 15 minutes and 5 to 6 repetitions of the asana are enough, do not overexert any muscle that may cause you irritation later.

When To Avoid Performing Cobra Pose?

There are various situations when one should avoid performing a cobra pose or perform it under expert guidance. Such situations are elaborated on below.

  • Individuals suffering from severe back problems related to the spinal column must be discouraged to practice the yoga pose.
  • Should your neck problems be related to spondylitis (Inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints) should avoid this yoga pose as well.
  • Pregnant women should not practice this yoga position as a great deal of pressure is noticed in the lower abdomen. It can also lead to injuries if the stance of the arms is not accurate in this posture.
  • Avoid exercising Bhujangasana Yoga if you have broken ribs or wrists or have recently undergone abdominal surgery, such as a hernia.
  • Also, discourage doing Bhujangasana if you are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome causes intense pain, tingling, and loss of feeling in your hand due to median nerve stress in your wrist.
  • Patients with severe Asthma might also avoid these postures and work on breathing exercises through Pranayama before actually trying the cobra pose.

How To Initiate Cobra Pose?

Start with Sukshma Vyayam (a small warm-up before Yoga) or slight exercises to initiate your practice. These include a delicate rotation of the neck, arms, wrists, hips, and ankles to warm up the joints steadily.

Before starting with any Yoga asana, which involves muscles, warm up your muscles, i.e., take a walk, some light standing exercises that mobilize your muscles. Do not tire your muscles and joints.

This will prepare your body for a workout and keep you safe from injuries associated with exercise. Make sure your body is adequately warmed up before you try any back-bending stances. 

Steps Involving Cobra Pose

  1. Lie Face Down Flat On Your Belly On The Mat

Your legs ought to be flat on the ground, and your hands must be flat on either side of you. Extend your back legs, the tops of your feet on the ground. Stretch your hands under your shoulders on the mat. Hug your elbows into your body.

TIP: If you have a trivial backache due to stiffness of muscle and not any other reason, make a gap of 1-2 feet between the legs. Also, in this pose, your toes must never be tucked underneath you.

  1. Press Onto The Floor With Both Hands

You need your palms to be marginally lower than your shoulder, so your fingertips are nearly just below the muscles of your shoulder. Spread your fingers and uniformly push your palms into the floor. At this level, you will be only a few inches off the floor, with your spine mostly still straight.

TIP: Relax, close your eyes, and steadily but deeply, inhale and exhale once. Envision the stability of the top of your pelvis, thighs, and feet. Imagine that portion is now rooted to the ground.

  1. Start Pulling Your Shoulders Back

On an inhalation, start straightening your arms to hoist your chest off the floor, only heading to a height at which you can stay connected to your legs through your pubis. Your arms must be stood up straight, and this should not feel uncomfortable. Stretch and broaden your stretch to establish an elegant arc in your back.

TIP: Instead of trying to exert yourself to gain altitude and risk overtaking the spine, use the length in your legs and back. Let your buttocks be semi-relaxed.

  1. Maintain The Asana Or Position For 15 To 20 Seconds

Before discharging gently to the floor or stretching back further for another round, attempt to keep the cobra pose for five full breaths, release the pose instantly if you begin to feel discomfort or tightness in your back.

Keep your neck completely balanced. Don’t pump it up. Your gaze is supposed to stay on the ceiling, i.e., upwards. Gradually come to the initial position with a deep exhalation following the same steps backward.
If you practice regularly, try to stretch your arms fully so they become straight.

If you practice regularly, try to stretch your arms fully, so they become straight.

TIP: Ensure your elbows proceed to hug your sides. Never let them tail out on either corner. You can use variations and adjustments to make this pose more effective for you, whether you’re a newbie or an advanced practitioner.

If You Are A Newbie To Cobra Pose

If you are very unbending, we suggest that you practice this asana with the help of a prop instead of doing this position on the ground. Brace a sturdy folding chair against a wall, place your hands on the front edge of the seat, the balls of your legs on the floor, and then try this pose. 

If Cobra Stretch Poses Challenge For You 

A delicate variation that involves only the back muscles is the Yoga baby cobra pose. Elevate the palms off the mat so they’re less than an inch (2.5 cm) above it. 

Using just the back, lift the shoulders and chest and interact with your thighs and abdomen to avoid tightness for a mini backbend.

To reduce pressure in the lower back, spread the feet farther apart. If staring up triggers strain in your neck or spine, retain your gaze ahead.

If You Want To Try More Advanced Pose And Test Your Limits 

To confront your balance while you’re in the cobra pose, bend your right knee and snatch your right-hand ankle for half a frog pose. Hold on for five breaths, relax, and repeat the process. Grab your ankle with your flip side for an even greater challenge.

Only advance to a deeper backbend if the cobra pose is easy for you and you’re looking for something a little more challenging.

Precautions To Be Taken While Performing The Cobra Pose

  • Stretch Is Not About How High You Can Bend 

The cobra pose is not about how high you can lift but rather about your spinal extension. To produce a stunning, even arc, peel yourself off the ground one vertebra at a time. 

There might be a case where a yoga cobra pose hurts the lower back if you’ve come up very high. In such cases, you should lower a few inches (or cm) to avoid grinding your lower back as it can cause shooting back pain if your arc is converting into more of an L-shape.

  • Properly Position The Hands To Avoid Pulling Major Muscles 

Before you raise your head and chest from the mat, make sure your hands are properly positioned. Your hands are supposed to be next to your chest and under your shoulders.

  • Clenching The Buttocks 

There is a compulsion to squeeze the buttocks in Bhujangasana, as the backbend does not happen easily to the body. Save your energy and relax your glutes.

  • Not Using Hips To Lift The Ground 

Cobra pose uses the glutes to hold the lift rather than the arms and legs. While maintaining your hips on the floor, use your back muscles instead of brute arm strength to lift your upper body.
Stop right before your hips get off the floor, do not exert the arc beyond your capacity.

Conclusion

Try to alter your point of view when practicing the cobra pose. Feel the air filling your chest as you rise against the force of gravity. In a quest to reach ease amid endeavor, reduce anxiety in your arms. You will find the power to hold the cobra pose with a simple, slow breath only via surrender. Let this process help you to remove anxiety. It is recommended that you inculcate the cobra pose as well as many other more daunting poses in your practice.

Sri Lakshmi and Dr. Mishra

Are you sitting at your desk for prolonged working hours daily? Do you wake up to body or muscle stiffness every morning? If yes, then Yoga Backbend Poses could be an excellent relief for your lifestyle. I found these muscle stretching and relaxing exercises helpful in gaining and maintaining my body flexibility. After a bike accident and maternity issues, my body had various changes, and back pain became a chronic issue. Under the instructor’s guidance, I got to know about these beautiful stretching exercises and felt much relieved. Read on to know more!

What are Yoga Backbend Poses?

Yoga Backbend Poses, or heart-opening poses, are exercises that stretch your frontal body by curving your spine backward at different degrees. They are also referred to as “front body stretches,” as they stretch your front by contracting the back muscles. The spine supports our body and bears the entire weight during all our daily activities, and is prone to a lot of stress in our fast-paced lifestyles, often involving a lot of sitting. Several medical studies have shown connections between stress level and back pain, especially chronic low back pain. 

During stress, the muscles in the body tighten up. When they remain in this stressed position continuously and do not get the chance to relax, they might start several muscle pains in the body, e.g., Headache, Neck pain, Backache, etc., which might lead to a very unhealthy tendency of leaving the exercise altogether and getting refuge with the pain medicines. It’s needless to mention that those medicines have many side effects. Therefore, I would suggest you try and understand a little more detail about the Yoga Backbend Poses and try incorporating these exercises into your routine. You might start finding some added comfort and could even find relief from some old aches, if any. According to research papers, it will also help posture correction, which is the root cause of chronic back pain in many individuals. Chronic poor posture may also lead to more severe spine problems like disc herniation and straightening of the spine.

Who can do it?

Ideally, the Yoga Backbend poses are a sequence of exercises. The benefits of yoga backbend poses are for all age groups. So let’s understand how it would help individuals of different age groups. The general rules of yoga apply here too. Do it on an empty stomach or at least 3-4 hours after a meal. Doing it in the open in the morning has traditionally been considered the best. However, no time is the wrong time for yoga.

Kids

Most kids carry a heavy backpack loaded with books every day to school. It can leave a long-term impact on their young spines. Adopting the backbend exercises from a very young age might help them strengthen their backs and develop a correct posture and improve flexibility. The competitive academics and exams also create a sense of fear and stress by activating the sympathetic nervous system, which results in a build-up of tension in the neck and shoulders of our kid’s Torticollis (is having trouble with muscles surrounding your neck, which makes it tilt down) – can be caused by acute neurological /psychological condition, but does not happen due to chronic stress.

If you think your child may be suffering from this, these poses will be of great help. The muscles around the shoulders and neck would be relaxed when you stretch your front body in the right way.

Teenagers

Teenage is a period where hormones play a significant role and bring in many physical and behavioral changes. The transition from being a kid to growing into an adult can cause stress with added external pressures and expectations from the teachers and parents on the educational front. Peer pressure is no less too. Having emotional alertness with great energy and a flexible body would be every teenager’s dream. Unfortunately, low flexibility results in lesser participation in athletics that in turn leads to even lower flexibility. Do you see a vicious cycle there? Increasing the flexibility by these Backbend Poses can break this cycle. Enjoy the magic.

Adults

Young adults could be called adventure seekers too. Don’t you love to explore and experiment? What if a backache is stopping you? Or what if your body is not flexible for that adventurous ‘outing’? It’s disheartening to realize that all you need is to include these back stretching and strengthening poses. Try these Yoga Backbends and get adventurous. Consider using a gym ball or a backbend wheel initially but try to let go of it soon. (PS- Sitting on a gym ball instead of a chair leads to burning more calories and also gives you a better back)

Middle-Aged

Rush, Rush, and Rush is what describes the life of a middle-aged person. With the responsibility of our loving family and the desire to fulfill all their material wants, the middle-aged individuals get to work early, get the promotion ASAP and finally get back home early to spend time with their kids. It might even be hard to take a moment and breathe with the cutthroat competitions, family responsibilities, and racing lifestyles. Do you ever find time to see yourself in the mirror or even realize you have a poor back posture and have a chronic backache bothering you? I bet your answer is YES. Research from Hong Kong with 772,927 subjects found that the prevalence of back pain is much higher in our ladies than in men. Balancing between the roles of a mother, a wife, and the master manager can be overwhelming. Of all things you do for the family leaves no time for those long exercise sessions or relaxing and taking care of that back pain. These relaxing poses that might help you balance your stress while opening your heart and stretching the back muscles are worth trying to keep yourself on track for all the amazing work you do. Yoga Backbend Poses could be your solution, don’t miss out!

Aged Folks

I would say old age is the best age if you can stay healthy and fit. The worries and responsibilities would be off your shoulder. You would have bagged up a little of your savings and can enjoy some leisure time now. All you need is your body to cooperate physically and the zeal to explore life. Have you found it challenging to pick up your grandchildren? Are you missing out on playing with those little bundles of joy because of the back pain that started years ago when you built this world of abundance for your family and a prosperous community? Here you are with a secret that would allow you to enjoy all of it. All you might have to do is to push yourself to practice these Backbend Poses to maintain a stable back and stable health. Research shows that individuals who can prevent these back pains until the age of 65 are more likely to be pain-free for the rest of their lives. Many kinds of research have shown a strong connection between back pain and the inability to exercise. Other research has shown that regular exercise leads to longevity and happiness. In the starting, consider using a backbend wedge or a  non-skid gym ball under your belly to avoid slips and inadvertent overstretching. Make sure it is a non-skid gym ball. We are committed to relieve your back pain and help you exercise.

Who can’t do it?

The Yoga Backbend Sequence is advisable and is suitable for both the young and old alike. We would still recommend you stay away from these exercises if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • If you have a heart condition or ailment
  • If you have any prior spinal injuries
  • If you have back pain due to an orthopedic condition
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you have undergone recent surgery
  • If you are pregnant, or if you are menstruating

What are the scientific benefits?

Yoga as a form of exercise has numerous scientific benefits. Backbend Sequences form an essential part of yoga practice. Several research studies have shown benefits for people suffering from poor posture, chronic lower back pain, limited range of motion (ROM) of the back, Arthritis, primary dysmenorrhea, short attention span, and cognitive limitations. On the regular practice of the Backbend Poses, you might benefit from the following:

  • Improve your body balance and control
  • Strengthen your body muscles
  • Gain flexibility (Thighs, Hip Flexors, Upper Torso, Back, and Abdominal Wall)
  • Improve your paraspinal muscle strength and movement
  • Develop a better back posture
  • Relax and open your chest and shoulders (they stretch the pectorals, the deltoids, the intercostals, and the rotator cuff group)
  • Better shoulder stance 
  • Enhance your mental alertness
  • Alleviate pain over the long run
  • Improve your energy levels and feel rejuvenated
  • Pain relief in Arthritis
  • Pain relief during menstruation  
  • Longevity

Remember that you can enrich the effect of these poses when you consciously practice them with the appropriate breathing techniques.

Beginner Backbend Poses

Prepare your body before jumping into the Backbend exercises. Sit and relax and take some deep breaths while understanding and feeling how your body feels each day. Respect your body and have an awareness of the signs it displays. Once you feel ready, start with a few basic poses mentioned below.

  1. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

Lie downward facing with the hands under the shoulders, chin down, and legs together. Slightly stretch back by lifting the head and chest off the floor and keeping the gaze straight. Engage the core muscles and maintain the pubic bone down into the floor. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed, and try to focus on your neck and spine alignment. You should feel the pose through the strength of the back muscles and not entirely from your hands. The Cobra Pose opens the chest and aligns the spine. It stimulates the nervous system while strengthening the core body.

  1. Dhanurasana or Bow Pose

The Bow Pose is slightly tricky if you are a beginner but can be achieved gradually. Lie down on your stomach and focus on your core by holding your feet with your hands. Maintain the knees at the hip level from the ground and maintain the body of the floor. The Bow Pose tones the internal organs of your body. You can experience a stretch in the entire front portion of your body, including the hip flexors, thighs, ankles, shoulders, chest, and throat.

  1. Balasana or Child Pose

This basic and beginner-level pose is easy and comfortable amongst all the other Backbend Poses. Fold your legs backward and sit on your knees. Stretch your feet outward and keep your knees hip-width apart. Stretch and bend your torso downward on the floor, positioning it between the knees. Extend your arms outward at shoulder distance and align with your torso. The Child Pose improves blood circulation in the body. It alleviates back and neck pain and profoundly relaxes the shoulder and the chest. It lengthens the spine and stretches the muscles in the lower back and the inner thighs. It relieves tension in the tail bone and keeps it supple.

  1. Ustrasana or Camel Pose

Kneel and keep your back straight by positioning your knees hip-width apart. Position your hands on the back and slowly try to bend backward. Bring your shoulder joints closer at the back. Look upwards and reach your ankles and hold them with your hands (thumbs facing outward and fingers inward) for support. Alternatively, if you are a beginner and find it difficult to reach your ankles, try using Yoga Blocks or Yoga Bricks. Place the Yoga Blocks next to your ankles at the desired height, and then gradually try reaching your ankles once you are comfortable with the pose. The Camel Pose also stimulates the respiratory, nervous, and circulatory systems.

  1. Marjariasana or Cat Stretch Pose

Kneel on all fours that are your hands and legs positioned at shoulder and hip-width apart. Stretch your feet outward and place your palms on the floor straight under your shoulders. Lift your chin slightly up and bend down your navel a little into the ground while inhaling. Push your tailbone up at the time you have arch your back. Now return with a countermovement, bring your chin down, droop your tailbone, and extend the back upward, forming an inverted ‘C’ with the floor. Hold and repeat in sets. The Cat Stretch Pose strengthens your spine and makes it flexible. It releases stress and tension built in the back and neck. It also improves your blood circulation.

  1. Salabhasana or Locust Pose

The Locust Pose is yet another basic and beginner-level pose that warms up your body for deeper backbends as you practice it over a period. It appears to be much simpler, but you will find it like a task if you have body rigidity. Lie downward facing and rest your forehead on the floor. Stretch your arms backward alongside the torso and place your palms facing upward. Rotate your thighs inward and bring your toes slightly closer. Exhale and try to lift your head, arms, legs, and chest up from the floor. Feel the stretch throughout and hold the ribs, pelvis, and belly onto the floor. Relax and repeat in sets. The Locust Pose strengthens the pelvic floor, abdomen, deltoids, triceps, hips, and buttocks. It also stretches the spine and helps maintain flexibility and posture.

Take it easy

Don’t be in a hurry with this Asana, and push your flexibility limits slowly. Your time will come when you impress everyone with back bending abilities in a Yoga class or crab walk down the staircase as the girl in the exorcist movie. Overdoing the exercise can harm your back, so always take it easy. Always remember to breathe and stretch!

Summary

Yoga Backbend Poses could be your answer to stress and fatigue while alleviating some old pains in the body. Try to stretch the right way, stay conscious and focus on the proper breathing techniques to reap the best benefits for your body. Always listen to your body and don’t push it way beyond as you might end up in injuries. Enjoy these beautiful beginner-level backbends Poses to start with and gradually adopt the variants and deeper poses. Seek out a medical practitioner for guidance if you have any medical history or recent surgeries, or any other ailments before experimenting on any of these poses at home all by yourself. Stay physically flexible, mentally alert, and live a happy life. Most back pains result from the excessive strains, long hours of sitting, and poor posture that we subject our backs to. 

So remember that You are the Cause, and You are the Cure.

Sri Lakshmi, Devina and Dr. Mishra

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