I’ve been doing yoga for years, and have definitely reaped the benefits; improved flexibility, weight loss, improved digestion, better sleep, improved posture, and less stress to name a few. One pose in particular is especially beneficial and it’s a pose that I’ve love-hated for my entire yoga journey, but lately I’ve been leaning towards the love column, and here are 10 reasons why:
- A sense of triumph – not to knock any other yoga pose, I mean, happy baby is my JAM, but when you come down from wheel you feel as if you’ve really accomplished something. It’s like the feeling I got after my very first hot yoga class: covered in litres of my own sweat, legs shaking like hummingbirds, but feeling like I could climb a mountain.
- Lung strength – I have asthma, and although it hasn’t really been a problem since I was much younger, except for when I get a cold or am in a really dusty room, it’s still something I keep in the back of my mind. Wheel is an amazing chest opener, and studies have shown that wheel pose improves respiration and strengthens the lungs.
- Spine lengthening – wheel pose creates space in the spine by lengthening and strengthening the vertebrae. I’m a short gal, and everyone else in my family is short as well, and as my relatives age they seem to be getting shorter, so I need all the height I can get.
- Posture – this kind of goes hand in hand with the spine lengthening point, but on top of lengthening your spine, backbends also open up your chest and back, and stabilize your shoulders, which helps counteract the hunching over that happens in our day-to-day lives.
- Energizing – this pose stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands, which makes you feel energized both mentally and physically, and counteracts stress, depression, and anxiety.