You may have seen them lately–Dharma Wheel, Mandala Wheel, Yoga Wheel… they are basically a round padded prop you put under your back to help you reverse the damage of hunching all day and create a more flexible spine. I purchased one because I have incredibly tight shoulders and thought this might help. I have been building up to about 10 minutes a day using it. I can only do the most basic postures and even that is challenging. I do feel by chest and back stretching and basically reversing the motion of being leaning forward. I’m curious to see if this relieves some of my shoulder pain and helps with any of my yoga postures. It’s too soon to see any difference, and I also probably have to increase the time I’m on it. Let’s see: Sit 10 hours a day. Yoga wheel: 10 minutes. I don’t think I’ll see a revolution with that. I do seem to have slightly less shoulder pain which is encouraging. One of my yoga teachers makes and sells them, so I figured if he uses it, it’s probably something to be explored. It’s also nice to do some stretching outside of the postures, so this is a nice addition to my routine. I’ll keep you posted on progress. If anyone uses a yoga wheel, let me know how it’s going.
I took a class recently where the teacher is known for helping students one on one with postures. This usually means some postures are held longer, other times savasannas are longer… depending on what the teacher is doing with a specific student. I’ve noticed not always, but usually, the teacher picks advanced, very talented students… well this time I got picked in standing bow… on my bad side no less. It was so interesting because he created an environment that you couldn’t fall, so you could try different techniques to see what was most effective. I know the dialogue says pull in opposite directions, 50-50 and I thought I was puling, however, when the teacher pulled me, he really pulled. I mean a stretch 10x stronger than I was doing. The other interesting thing, since set 1 is one minute, is that he said pull, then for 10 seconds relax, and let the body stretch more–that worked. The other news is I got a mandala wheel or dharma well to help stretch my back. I’ve been doing it for 5-6 minutes 2x a day… it really helps me overcome my hunching all day while seated and the corresponding tight shoulders i’ve developed (that impact almost every yoga pose!) I’d highly recommend it. The wheel comes with pictures, most that I’m not flexible enough to do, but just putting it under your back and stretching seems to work. Other than that, I’ve been going to early classes to try and beat the heat. It is brutal in my studio..
So, I continue to establish a regular routine and get back into the yoga groove. I still don’t have the flexibility I did a few months ago and some extra lbs make certain postures more challenging. Last week I went to class 3x and worked out at the gym 2x, focusing on cardio. I was shocked at how “bad” my cardio was compared to the past. As good of a workout as yoga is, it simply can’t do everything. I lowered my previous levels and got myself moving. It felt good, although of course, stiffens everything up, making yoga all the more challenging.
The week has started well though, with a July 4th yoga class and a class this am. I find it almost impossible to really give me all through the entire class, as in push push push. I just burn out. I certainly hold the poses and try to do the correct form, but it feels like I really need to pick a handful of postures and put the most energy into them… strategically. I had a substitute teacher today that was excellent, so that’s always inspiring. To hear a slightly different instruction or perspective. I’ve been working on toe stand, I can go down, but I am extremely wobbly. I’ve also been working harder on my backbend. I seem to have made no progress since I started there, so it’s become a posture of focus
This week is about keeping routine, not making excuses and trying my best. You?