Try to remember back to the day when you first attempted Urdhva Dhanurasana or Wheel Pose. I remember that my shoulders would barely lift off the ground and my elbows were just not willing to straighten. When I finally broke through to my first wheel that actually felt good. I wanted to squeal with excitement! In hindsight, I wish I had applied yoga props to my practice when I was learning to open up the back and heart in backbends. A full wheel requires open shoulders, armpits, heart and spine. Laying on a block and allowing the heart to open slowly, even just for a few minutes a day, will make your transition into a backbend 100 times better and safer!

Below are some props that we’ve curated to assist with opening up the back for a healthy and regular backbend practice. Backbends, we’re coming for you!

BrandProductRatingPriceReviewsShipping
Infinity Strap - logoInfinity Yoga Strap4.8 Stars$21.99 - $24.99269 Reviews
Yoga-Design-LabPU Wheel Mandala Night4.8 Stars$6530 ReviewsFree Shipping & Free Returns
OPTP - logoOPTP Yoga Stretch Strap4.7 Stars$15.9511,770 ReviewsFree Shipping with Amazon Prime & Free Returns
Sukha YogaSukha Designs Natural Cork Handcrafted Yoga Block Set4.3 Stars$44
URBNFit - logoURBNFit Exercise Ball (Multiple Sizes)4.6 Stars$14.99 - $34.9720,662 ReviewsFree Return on some sizes and colors
Hugger Mugger - logoHugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster4.8 Stars$82.95619 ReviewsFree Shipping & Free Returns
YOGABODY- logoYOGABODY Yoga Trapeze Pro4.7 Stars$1191,258 ReviewsFree Shipping & Free Returns

Best Yoga Prop #1: Infinity Yoga Strap

infinity-strap-yoga-prop
Infinity Strap - logo

Why choosing this product?

The Infinity Strap comes in Original (cotton) and Stretch (elastic). The infinity shaped strap shows you all the infinite ways you can approach asanas using the strap to deepen and access postures that may have seemed impossible. I usually use this strap in my dancer’s pose or Natarajasana to connect the hands to the feet. The Infinity Strap is also great for stabilizing the arms in inversions such as Pinchamayurasana/Forearm Balance and Bakasana/Crow Pose.

Best Yoga Prop #2: PU Wheel Mandala Night

_PU Wheel Mandala Night - Yoga Design Lab
Yoga-Design-Lab

Why choosing this product?

You can use the yoga wheel to stretch out the ribcage and make poses more accessible OR challenging! I love lining my spine on the surface of my wheel and staying there for 20 breaths. I do it every day between work breaks. Opening your heart releases more than just the body, it reenergizes me so that you can continue on with your day. Most yoga wheels cost around $65. Our wheel of choice is the PU Wheel Mandala Night.

Best Yoga Prop # 3: OPTP Yoga Stretch Strap

The Original Stretch Out Strap
OPTP - logo

Why choosing this product?

Stop fiddling around with ordinary yoga straps and start using a yoga stretch strap. Yoga stretch straps have loops that you can use to adjust how deep you want your backbend or stretch to feel. No need to fumble with the metal fasteners and trying to find the perfect length of strap. These stretch straps allow you to simply move your hand down towards the next loop to deepen the stretch or bend. Our favorites yoga stretch straps are the OPTP Yoga Stretch Strap ($15.95) (comes with a booklet) and the Therapist’s Choice® Stretch Strap ($7.99).

sukha-design-yoga-block
Sukha Yoga

Why choosing this product?

The good cork yoga block is great for back bending. Use it in Setu Bandha Sarvanghasana/Bridge Pose under the sacrum or in Matsyasana/Fish Pose under the middle of the back to open the heart. Place it at your desired height for different back bending sensations. Blocks are inexpensive and portable. Check out the beautiful and sturdy cork blocks from Sukha Designs (2 blocks for $44).

_URBNFit Exercise Ball
URBNFit - logo

Why choosing this product?

Stability balls double as a chair and are also great for people who have very tight backs. The stability ball is more forgiving than a yoga wheel and is a great place to start if the yoga wheel creates too deep of a backbend for you. Keep the ball inflated to use around the home or deflate it for travel or packing away. The stability balls range from $14.99-34.97. Our stability ball of choice is the URBNFit Exercise Ball.

_Hugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster - Hugger Mugger
Hugger Mugger - logo

Why choosing this product?

Bolsters are excellent for various types of yoga practices, especially yin and restorative. Use bolsters to gently approach a backbend. I love using a bolster under my sacrum with Viparita Kirani/Legs up the Wall Pose and Maysyasana/Fish Pose. To enhance your floor bow, place a bolster at the base of your belly for an added lift. Bolsters range from $45-100, so they are a more substantial investment, but definitely worth it if you’re a regular practitioner. Our bolster of choice is the Hugger Mugger bolster and it’s only $$82.95!

Best Yoga Prop #7: YOGABODY Yoga Trapeze Pro

_YOGABODY Yoga Trapeze Pro - YOGABODY
YOGABODY- logo

Why choosing this product?

The first time I ever tried a suspension yoga class, I felt silly and awkward going into the practice. It required me to become aware of my body’s prioperception while suspended in air and the under-development in my upper body strength. By the end of the session, I felt open and free. Hanging in a backbend without any pressure on my feet and hands felt exhilarating. Contorting and transitioning between asanas in air was an experience that I look forward to revisiting. If you have space and room in your abode, definitely invest in one of these to enhance your practice. It also doubles as a hammock for when you want to lay back and get lost in a novel. Our yoga Trapeze of choice: YOGABODY Naturals Yoga Trapeze ($119).


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