We have been teaching paddle board yoga for over 8 years now and land-based yoga for over 25. The most remarkable lesson that we have learned through all these years, thousands of clients and hundreds of teacher trainees, is that the human body has changed drastically in the last couple of decades. What worked in the 80’s, no longer works now.
A lot of you may have heard of Paul Grilley’s findings as part of his work on the Anatomy for Yoga. You might have also heard of William Broad and his book on how yoga can hurt people, “The Science of Yoga”.
For those of you who have not heard of either of the above authors, the bottom line is that not all yoga poses are made for every body type, especially in today’s lifestyle.
Having said that, we would like to analyze why wheel is one of several poses that should not be taught on a paddle board, especially in a group setting.
Most of the people living in the United States today spend a lot of time on the computer, at a desk or driving. As a result, their chest muscles are shortened, their shoulders are rounding in, their back muscles are too long and weak, their hips are “tight”, their ankles and wrists are too weak (to even perform plank), and so many of them have sciatic issues.
Wheel is a pose, that takes all of the above mentioned joints, muscles and the associated fascia and puts them in the exact reverse direction than the one they have spent their entire life in.
Furthermore, depending on the person’s bone structure and compression issues wheel may be even “impossible”.
Wheel on a paddle board does all of the above while the person is on an unstable surface.
Most yoga instructors will agree that wheel is more of a flexibility based pose than a strength based pose. Science has proven that you cannot create flexibility on an unstable platform.
We are not saying that you should not be teaching wheel on a paddle board. What we are saying is that wheel on a paddle board has zero benefits, except that it makes for a great picture. On the contrary, it does have high risk of injury. During one of our SUP trainings, the ACA concluded that there are poses yoga teachers are teaching that would be considered by the insurance companies as “gross negligence” (we hope you know what that means). Wheel was one of several.
If the yoga teacher’s ego, wishes to teach wheel, instead of hundreds of other safe and very challenging poses (in terms of strength, endurance, agility, mobility and balance), they should at least be teaching it to their clients on land first.
We believe that as a yoga instructor it is your duty and obligation to assist people through the process of yoga, whether on land or on the water, in a safe, fun and effective manner.
See you on the hot mat or at least knee deep on the water and as Ganesha would say, “Enjoy Life and Feed Your Rat!”
As seen in Yoga Journal, Washington Post, The London Sunday Times, Coastal Living, Glamour, Shape, Out Traveler, and many more, the Yoga Energy Studio is bringing to you Primal Lifestyle Coaching, Private Consultations, Body-Weight & Movement Training, Up-skilled Teacher Training Programs, Adventure Coaching, SUP & Yoga and Kayoga.
We are also a SUP GUIDE and outfitter destination. We paddle almost every day, we have no sales pitch, only great advice on paddling! Train with us and get ready to say a hearty YES to your next adventure.
Om Shreem Hreem Kleem Shreem Lakshmi Ragachchha Gachchh Mam Mandire Tishth Tishth Swaha