dharma yoga wheel – rate and review thursdayby Jeffrey Posner February 19, 2015 0 comments
“Blocks, Bolsters, straps and blankets… Oh My! These tend to be the standard props that are used in most yoga classes today. As yoga grows in popularity new and exciting products and services are being introduced into the marketplace. Which leads us to our first review here on YogaSlate:
The Dharma Yoga Wheel
The Dharma Yoga Wheel is yoga prop designed for specifically for rolling and opening the body. The benefits of body rolling have been known for quite some time and it is one of the gentlest ways to care for the muscles and bones. No wonder the wheel feels so good!
The wheel is offered in a variety of sizes and made up of either wood or PVC plastic. There are 2 larger sizes in wood and PVC and now there is even a half wheel, which rests flat on the floor with the wheel curve on top. I currently have the original wood version and the smaller PVC model. If you’re a little confused by all these options, you’re not alone
Choosing the right wheel for you: (from their website)
Wood (Beginner – Intermediate) – A great place to start. This model offers a “Lip” to grab when using, offering more shoulder mobility and chest expansion.
PVC (Beginner – Intermediate) – Also, a great place to start. Just a tiny bit bigger than the wood, the PVC offers a comfortable surface to rest the back on. Being bigger the PVC offers a deeper front stretch.
Plus (Beginner – Advanced) – Recommended for taller (6ft and above) and more seasoned practitioners. The plus is a lot bigger and offers an even deeper stretch.
Not gonna lie…still a little confused. What is the real benefit of the wood? Just the “Lip”?
I love the way the wheel works to open my back and shoulders. It really hits the right spots and allows me to safely take the bend into my chest (thoracic spine) while still lengthening the low back (lumbar spine). The feeling is similar to a large foam roller with more stability. It surprisingly offers a lot of support while being light in weight. Although, its the size of the wheel that sets it apart from traditional rollers. You would never be able to go this deep with just the roller alone. Use it at the beginning of your practice to warm up, or break it out at the end to take backbends a little deeper.
It’s a little costly ranging from $90 to $180 per unit plus shipping. The wooden version tends to be rigid on the back and can irritate the spine if not used with care and proper alignment. A client of mine is about 240lbs and when he rolls on the wooden wheel it cracks a lot like it’s beginning splinter. (rated for 270lbs). Keep in mind that he is not bearing all is weight on the wheel.
Limited functionality – while you may see people doing some crazy things on Instagram with the wheel (that’s me). It is intended for rolling on only.
I like the wheel and it makes me feel great. However the price is a little high. You could buy a bolster, strap, 2 blocks and a blanket for the price of one wheel. The multiple options for sizes and types are complicated and it can be difficult picking the right wheel best suited to your body and your needs.
Overall I recommend the Dharma Yoga Wheel. It’s versatile enough for the beginner yogi as well as offering assistance to safely deepen an advanced practice. Even if back bending is not your thing, the wheel offers comfort and support while you explore your practice. The wheel opens your heart, as long as you can afford it.