First and foremost, shout-out to my girl Erinn in the picture above who totally went for it in the middle of NYC this afternoon. Outside of my daughter, I never post pictures of anyone else in a posture. Wheel, however, is a different story… Wheel Pose, something that seems simple to many, is a thorn in my side. Some days I can do it and hold it and I am one bad ass mo-fo. Other days, well. But I thank Wheel Pose because it is the first posture where I allowed myself to take the suggested modification. It was the first pose where I finally realised that yoga (unlike brunch, for example) is not a battlefield. And no matter how great the woman next to you in head-to-toe Lululemon may look, your class is about you and your mat.
This shouldn’t be read as a negative against Bridge Pose – it’s benefits are many! The set up for both is the same. Lying on your back, bring your feet as close as possible to your bum, flat on the floor, hips distance apart. If you are going for wheel, like our brave Erinn did above, bring your hands up to either side of our head, by your ears. If you’re like me and wheel often makes you feel dizzy or you’re just like, nah buddy – stick with Bridge. Bring your hips up off the floor and clasp your hands under your pelvis, extending your arms, keeping your shoulders on the floor. With both expressions, keep your feet flat on the floor and press your pelvis higher into the air.
I actually dropped down to the floor in the middle of typing this so I could figure out exactly what it was that I like about one and not the other. Wheel puts so much strain on my arms. But maybe that just tells me I need to do a better job of shifting my weight to my legs. While Bridge gives me such a nice stretch in my back. Either way, press up through your feet, get that midsection nice and high, and allow the posture to be fluid. Move and shift and see what feels good.
Yogi’s choice – the next time you are offered an alternative to the pose being called, give it a shot. You may actually find a new preference. And some self-acceptance.