Yoga for Beginners

Backbend Fearlessly with the Dharma Yoga Wheel

The Dharma Yoga Wheel helps newbies and veterans backbend safely and fearlessly.

The Dharma Yoga Wheel helps new and veteran yogis backbend safely and fearlessly.

A clever invention handcrafted in the United States, the Dharma Yoga Wheel is for backbending newbies and veterans alike. It makes backbends more accessible to beginners by gracefully guiding them toward the ultimate pose, and can help advanced practitioners deepen their pose or loosen up muscle stiffness before a class. Dreamed up by international teacher Yogi Varuna, the son of and successor to Sri Dharma Mittra, along with teacher Raquel Vamos, both based at the Dharma Yoga Center in New York City, the wheel was designed to do so much more than improve back flexibility. It can also be worked in various positions to safely open up the chest, shoulders, abs, hip flexors, and quads, as well as help improve balance and deepen the breath. Wheels come in either PVC or wood ($99–179); find how-to sequences at

See also Ask the Expert: How Can I Protect Myself in Backbends?