Oh yes, we’re back-bending on this fine Friday. I recently did a yogathon at Urban Yoga Spa– two hours of hot power vinyasa, two hours of hot hatha, and two hours of yin/yang yoga. Sometimes I think I’m a special brand of insane. During the first two hours of power vinyasa, we did 5 wheel poses.
The teacher, Odessa, quoted Baron Baptiste saying: “Wheels are like pancakes. The first two are never any good” So we did two more. And when called up for the fifth, she invigorated us with another Baptiste quote. “This last wheel…is the difference between walking out of this room, and FLYING out of this room.”
I can’t say no to that, I want to fly.
- Begin setting up for bridge pose, heels drawn close enough to the sit bones that you can brush your heels with your fingers.
- Bring your hands mat-width next to your ears with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
- Press into the four corners of your feet, inhale and on your exhale life your tailbone to the sky.
- Push firmly into your hands and forearms to lift yourself up. I like to take a little pit-stop with the crown of my head on the floor, so I can go up with strength rather than momentum.
- Draw the shoulder blades down the back, straighten the arms as much as possible.
More articulate instructions here.
Troubleshooting. If you think you’re going to die, stick with bridge for a while strengthening your back by NOT clenching your glutes. If your low back is yelling at you, make sure your feet are parallel in a number 11 and experiment walking them closer or further from you.
More. Come to your tippy toes, bring one leg into your chest and straighten it to the sky. Repeat on the other side. If this still hasn’t got you sweating, try some wheel pushups by simultaneously bending arms and legs…as if you’re doing an upside down pushup on the ceiling?
I’m still perfecting this one, any tips?