Maybe you’ve seen it at yoga events and festivals—a wooden or plastic wheel the size of a large pizza padded with yoga-mat material. Well, that is a Dharma Yoga Wheel, created by Dharma Yoga founder Sri Dharma Mittra and his son, and it is an amazing tool for warming up and moving safely into backbends, inversions, and other poses. Plus, it is a boatload of fun to use! Here’s the inception story of the wheel and a few poses to get you started, from Sri Dharma Mittra himself:
In 1978, I was walking in Chinatown in NYC and there was a store where they had thick industrial plastic (plexiglass) cut to all sizes. There was a small piece–about six inches in diameter from a larger tube that I thought would be perfect for opening the back and stretching the entire body. I brought that home and started using it at the studio. It soon became very popular with the students.
His son, Yogi Varuna, saw how popular the wheel was with the other students at the Dharma Yoga Center when he became a regular student there a few years ago. After Mittra tried to build a prototype himself out of wood, Varuna and his partner Raquel Vamos found a carpenter to begin production. A website, Instagram followers, and PVC versions followed, and 10,000 have been sold to date.
READ MORE Backbend Fearlessly with the Dharma Yoga Wheel