Yoga is not just a trend or a pose you assume; it’s a way of life and the benefits it offers are better achieved when it’s approached with some level of deliberateness. When you look at it from this perspective, you’ll better appreciate how there is an entire industry dedicated to keeping yogis supplied with all the materials, clothing, advice, and props that will enhance their yoga and facilitate their journeys. This review focuses on one prop that has become quite popular in recent times: the yoga wheel.
It’s a recent addition on the yoga scene, but has already become a favorite among yogis the world over and is becoming a necessary part of many a yogi’s yoga set
. There are still some of us that wonder though: how does this prop improve yoga, and what’s all the hype about? The yoga wheel is a prop, that’s designed to help you achieve deeper back bends and stretches, improve flexibility, open up your chest, shoulders, hips, and thighs, and release tension along the spine and in the muscles.
“How does it do all this?” you may ask. It helps you get into a lot of poses that you may have found difficult or impossible to achieve in the past, and hold them for longer. So, let’s say you have the flexibility of a steel rod but would like to do a king pigeon pose or maybe one as simple as a big toe pose; one requires you to bend as far back as possible and the other requires you to do so in the opposite direction. If you aren’t able to do either of those, a yoga wheel will help.
They come in 3 major sizes. We have the large circles with up to 14-inch diameters, the standard wheel with a 12-inch diameter, and the mini wheel with the 6-inch diameter. The standard and mini wheels can fit into your gym bags
and carry-ons and are easy to move about with. Yoga wheels are typically made from plastic and have a durable and comfortable yoga mat
We do hope you’ll find our review helpful in your search as you have the final say on which yoga wheel is the best for you; but we’d like to say this: if you find one with all the right features, don’t let the price stop you.
Yoga wheels can be found for as low as $19 and up to $120—wide range, huh? Well, a number of factors such as brand, production process, and the wheel’s features can be responsible for that. For instance, some brands have already established a niche for themselves as makers of yoga wheels and have important factors such as economics of scale already figured out. Such brands usually have lower prices than other brands that are just starting out.
One thing is for sure: a yoga wheel must be strong so that it doesn’t break during use and so it gets to last a long time. This is something serious manufacturers know and adhere to so that whether they’ve been in the game for a while or are only new entrants, they produce only the best-quality wheels. Cheap yoga wheels, on the other hand, may not have such qualities and so we don’t recommend them.
At first glance, all yoga wheels look like they’re the same thing: a circular thingy that you lay on to do yoga. If you go into the market with only this information, we shudder to imagine what you’d end up with. In order to avoid such pictures from ever forming, we’ve listed some of the important things you should have at the back of your mind when you’re yoga wheel shopping:
Construction and Design
We have two types of yoga wheels, and the difference is in the material they’re made with. There are the wooden yoga wheels and the plastic yoga wheels. The wooden wheels were the first to be introduced and are still available today, but are more expensive and quite intricate. The plastic wheels actually came onboard as a way to avoid these issues. They’re more popular and are a lot easier to produce, not to mention sturdier and more affordable.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) are the materials used in making the wheel’s inner core. They’re molded into a tough, strong state that’s impact-resistant and will not break. The outer lining or padding is made from a foam material; TPE is the most popular material. It is a closed-cell foam, the same material used in making yoga mats, and doesn’t absorb sweat or body oils making it impossible for bacteria to build up. It’s also easy to clean.
Yoga wheels are perfect circles, so if what you’re looking at is the slightest bit spherical, ovoid, or in any way elliptical, run. Yup, it’s as serious as that; it’s called a wheel for a reason. Yoga may have its fun and simple aspects, but it has far-reaching implications on your health and you have to be deliberate about it. One small out-of-place twist or bend could result in painful consequences. The diameter of the circle is important and has to be consistent at all points of the wheel as it determines how far you’ll have to bend as well as how stable the wheel will be. So, imagine doing a fish pose with a poorly-shaped wheel; not only will your back and spine not get a deep enough stretch, you may end up sore in places you shouldn’t.
This brings us to the size of the wheel; most yoga wheels have a 12-inch diameter, though they can be larger or smaller. The larger wheels provide the room you need to stretch out more and go deeper in your stretches. That’s because they’re taller and stand farther from the ground so you’ll have to stretch more than you would with other sizes. The 14-inch diameter are great options for this; they’re recommended for folks 6 feet and taller—picture basketball players.
The 12-inch wheel is the most popular size, and it’s kind of like the standard yoga wheel. It can be incorporated into a variety of yoga routines including balancing, stretching (this one goes without saying), twisting, as in the spine twist, etc. They’re recommended for those of us who aren’t as tall as those in the first group.
Then there is the mini/micro wheel; this one has a 6-inch diameter. It’s great for kids and folks who are vertically challenged. It can also be used as a massage roller and other purposes too.
The thing to note about size is this: the wider the diameter, the deeper the stretches you’ll get will be, the more opened-up your chest, shoulders, and hips will be, and more flexibility will be required and achieved.
Performance and Ease of Use
Some things may not seem important at first, but they are and we wouldn’t want you to discover that when it’s too late; we’ll call them extras, things such as weight, “grip-ability”, etc. If you’re going to be on the move often, a lightweight wheel that you can easily move from point A to B without breaking a sweat is what we recommend. You should also consider the mini/micro yoga wheels as they’re small enough to fit into backpacks and travel luggage. They usually have a 5-inch width and that’s the same as its bigger counterparts, so you’ll get the same benefits of stretching your shoulders and releasing your myofacia.
Material and Care
Ensure that the padding on the wheel is thick enough to provide all the comfort you’ll need to enjoy and endure your sessions. The material is usually the same as the ones used to make gym mats; PVC and TPE seem to be manufacturers’ favorites. Both are durable, lightweight, and inexpensive. PVC is open-cell foam and may absorb sweat which increases its “grip-ability” but will need disinfecting once in a while. TPE is eco-friendly and has closed-cell technology which is basically the opposite of open-cell and is easier to clean.
The padding on the yoga wheel should be designed in a way that it creates traction between the wheel and whatever surface it comes in contact with. This will prevent the wheel from accidental drops and slips during yoga sessions.
Yoga wheels are in a variety of colors and patterns. You won’t have to worry about not finding one that’s as outspoken as your personality or as understated as your class.
The best yoga wheel for you will depend on your capacities as a yogi; how far can you bend? It’s a good thing you’ve read the guide, as it’ll make the reviews you’re about to read make more sense so you can make the best decision.
Gaiam is a brand that believes yoga is for everybody; according to it, everybody bends and if you can breathe you can do yoga. It seeks to help everyone young and old, big and small, and everyone in-between to enjoy the benefits of yoga, fitness, and complete wellness. It’s been in business for upwards of 25 years and in that time, it has built itself as a lifestyle brand to reckon with. Its premium-quality products include everything yoga, from mats to props to clothing; they’re trusted by yogis worldwide and so are its DVDs on yoga. It understands that human imperfections tend to be limiting and wants to provide an improved yoga experience for everyone.
This Gaiam Yoga Wheel is deliberately designed and thoughtfully handcrafted to help you get the most out of your yoga sessions. At its core, the strong inner circle, it’s made with rigid PVC (polyvinyl chloride) that has been toughened to enable it to bear the weight of the purpose it’s been created for—literally and metaphorically. It has a 12-inch diameter and the width of the wheel from one end to the other is 5 inches. This is wide enough to accommodate your back when you lie on it for those postures that require you to stretch backwards, such as the aptly named backbends. It helps to improve your flexibility and achieve deeper stretches than you’re used to.
The exterior part of this wheel has a premium-quality PVC yoga mat surrounding it; it’s 5 millimeters thick and provides a cushiony effect as you stretch. This will make the stretches more comfortable as you won’t have to endure any additional soreness brought about by a hard surface. The mat also has a “grippy” feel to it that enhances traction between the floor and the wheel so you don’t need to worry about its slipping away when you’re depending on it to support your body in one of those tricky postures. It practically increases the traction between the wheel and any surface it’s in contact with, including your hands and the rest of your body; there isn’t much of a chance of losing your grip on this wheel.
If there’s anything Sivan Health and Fitness is passionate about, it’s health and fitness—that should be obvious since it’s in its name. It’s a brand that wants to see its customers get the best out of life by providing equipment that they can trust for optimum productivity whether they’re at the gym, in the studio, or just working off those calories in the comfort of their own homes. On offer, it has a wide range of products that’s made up of diverse health and fitness equipment with which you can confidently engage in a variety of fitness activities. From yoga mats to dumb bells and from balance balls to spa equipment, you can find them all at the Sivan brand. It also offers professional advice on how to pick the right equipment for you and to give you guided information on how to become a healthier and more active you.
The Sivan Health and Fitness Yoga Wheel has the needed strength to serve as your trusty support when you’re getting your yoga on; it’s made with durable plastic that has been well-constructed for sturdiness and stability. Thanks to the TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) mat material that surrounds it, it’s also comfortable and won’t leave you with a sore back or thigh after your yoga sessions.
The wheel is designed to give you all the support you need when you desire to take your practice to a deeper level; with this prop, you can access deeper backbends and reduce back pain. It can also be used to easily get into poses that will open up your chest, shoulders, and hips. You can confidently use it to achieve deeper stretches for your spine and all the tension that manages to build up in our muscles after a hectic day or an intense workout.
The Sivan Yoga Wheel has a 12.6-inch diameter and a 5-inch width, making it great for a variety of stretching and balancing yoga exercises. It doesn’t weigh much and can be conveniently carried from home to the studio and back. Its outer surface is textured to enhance your grip, and it also comes in black, blue, and purple for you to choose from. What’s more, it comes with an exercise sheet to get you started!
The Freory brand was created by Todd Harmon and his friend Zach in the not-so-far-away year of 2015—trust us, it’s quite aware that it’s the new kid on the fitness block. The company was born from a desire to cut down on the bulk that a multiplicity of fitness products can cause—you know, all those products that seem to have the same general purpose but differ slightly so that you end up buying each. In Todd and Zach’s case, it was massage tools; they had them in different shapes, sizes, colors, and in a great number. The day the thought to combine all those tools in a single package was the day the idea for their innovative 3-in-1 Foam Roller, a portable equipment with 2 massage rollers and a stick-full of massage balls, was born. Today, Freory has other products and aims to introduce more products that are focused on improving fitness and managing pain.
The Freory Cork Yoga Wheel features a strong ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene—that was a mouthful, we’ll just stick with the acronym) plastic core; a special injection-molding process ensures the wheel is ready to carry up to 500 pounds of weight. This means that you can confidently do all the laying, bending, stretching, and balancing that your yoga routine requires. With this wheel, you can safely get into those pigeon and fish poses and hold them for longer. The diameter on this wheel is 13 inches and its width is 5 inches, placing it in the large category and proving it convenient for taller folks.
We love, love the handsome wood-grain on the plastic core; it’s quite like the real deal. On the outer part of the wheel, you have a thick foam lining that promises nothing but comfort and reliable support throughout your yoga session. The cork is the cherry on the cake with this wheel because not only does it feature the wood-grain design, it also improves your grip on the wheel, increasing your safety by reducing any chance of a slip-up.
The cork material is also resistant to the growth of microbes and mildew, and is easy to clean so that you don’t have to worry about catching something instead of concentrating and remaining Zen.
URBNFit is all about fitness; its huge customer base and product line is proof of this fact. This is a company that knows fitness and healthy lifestyles are important for everyone regardless of the weight of your paycheck. This is why it’s committed to making top-rate exercise products that are affordable yet safe and durable. It doesn’t cut corners or compromise product quality, so that you get all the assurance you need that nothing is going to break or snap while you’re in the middle of an intense workout. All of its products are covered by a remarkable 100%, unconditional refund guarantee. You also get the chance to become a member of the URBNFit community and get access to helpful videos, tips, and support. Speaking of support, its customer service is commendable.
The URBNFit Yoga Wheel has a tough plastic core that promises to safely hold your weight while you get into postures that will help stretch, loosen, and realign your spine and release tension-stiffened muscles. With this wheel, you can confidently work your way into postures that were simply beyond you and get all the benefits that yoga has to offer.
The wheel is constructed with enough strength to hold 500 pounds of weight—you’ll agree that’s a lot of weight. It’s designed to meet the special demands that yogis of all levels, from teacher to student, will place on it, making it a reliable prop.
The outer surface has a durable, non-slip foam that’s soft and thick. It provides comfort for your spine as you stretch in a bridge or cobra pose, and its outer surface is textured and improves your grip on the wheel. This also keeps the wheel in contact with your body and the ground so you won’t fear its slipping out or away when you’re in a pose.
There’s also a figure-8 strap in this package. It helps protect your recuperating spine, shoulders, hips, and knees so that you don’t over-exert them. What’s more, there is a 100% unconditional money-back guarantee on this wheel; you can actually buy with confidence, and customer support is responsive and helpful.
Dharma Yoga Wheel is the company that invented the yoga wheel. It was founded by Raquel Vamos and Dov Vargas, both of whom have taught yoga for more than six years and were taught by the yoga legend himself, Sri Dharma Mittra. The company was founded in 2014, and the first yoga wheel was a piece Dov found in his dad’s yoga studio closet. He and his partner worked with it, trying to see how it could be incorporated in yoga poses, and soon, they had quite the number of them, 108 to be precise. They introduced it into sessions with their students; a wooden version was made, and soon, everybody wanted one. Due to the impressive results from people who used the first wheels, more and more orders poured in. Today, the wheels are made from plastic and the company has grown from filling out twenty orders daily to over a hundred orders today.
The Dharma Yoga Wheel Basic Economical is the more economical version of the original Dharma yoga wheel. Both wheels are quite similar, but you can tell them apart as this one has a glossy finish while the original wheel has a matte finish. At 3 pounds, it’s the lightest Dharma yoga wheel, which makes it a portable option that can be transported with ease from one place to another. It also makes it a great way for first-time yoga wheel users to take the plunge.
It’s designed to hold up to 250 pounds, the same as the other Dharma wheels of its size. Nevertheless, it’s best suited for performing only stretches as advised by the manufacturer. This means that you can incorporate the wheel into your standing forward dog, spinal twist, downward dog, camel, and crab poses without fear. Use it confidently as the stretches will open your heart, loosen and realign your spine, and banish the tension from your muscles.
This wheel has a super-comfortable foam mat around its exterior surface that’s made with antimicrobial TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) material. It also provides you with a great non-slip surface that you, your body, and the floor can hold onto that’ll prevent mishaps. With a 12-inch diameter, the manufacturer advises that the height requirement to get the best out of this yoga wheel is 5 feet to 5 feet and 11 inches. Finally, it comes in 5 vibrant color options so you can choose which best represents your style.
You’ve come a long way yogi, right to the end of the review. We hope you found your wheel, so we’ll leave you to your bending—Namaste!