That Time I Got Full Wheel Pose

I’ve been doing yoga much more regularly over the past few months.



I push myself hard in running, and in life, and I want yoga to be the opposite. I want it to be where I go to chill the eff out from all that other pushing myself hard in life.

But if I show up, I’m going to work hard, whatever hard is for me that day. As a still yoga newbie, I’ve taken things pretty slowly and carefully because I’m terrified of twisting myself into some weird pretzel-y shape and getting stuck there or ripping some muscle straight off my body, but I work hard within my own limits.

I’ve stopped looking around at everyone else and started focusing on my own damn self, but there’s one pose that I know everyone else is doing but me when the instructor cues for it: full wheel pose.

I did gymnastics up until sophomore year of high school and I could pop into a bridge or a backbend like it was no thing, but I’m now 30 years old and my body is a little more creaky. During yoga in Times Square last year, I was so freaking determined to get into full wheel. One of the assistants helped me into it, and it literally took every bit of upper body strength I had. It was humbling how hard it was for me.

Yesterday, I took a class with Jen and was having a particularly good yoga day. My balance and focus were strong, and I was feeling totally blissed out. Err, blissed in. When we got to bridge, I first just did my regular bridge. The second bridge, I put a block under my sacrum (lower back) and was just chilling there for a second…when I decided to just go for it, and I popped up fairly easy into a full wheel!

Whether it was always that easy, or whether I’ve needed the time to build up to it mentally and physically, I don’t know. But I was amazed at how easily it came (I mean, despite already being part of the way up.) I hung out there for a while and then let myself down slowly. To my pleasant surprise, the awesome teaching assistant had moved the block out of my way for me. We did one final bridge/full wheel pose, and I got right back up there.

I took a chance on pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and it worked.


What was the last thing you did that pushed you outside of your comfort zone. Yoga people, tell me about either that one freaking pose that totally eludes you and you would die to do sometime…or a pose you recently conquered.

23 comments on “That Time I Got Full Wheel Pose

  1. joy

    Crane pose for sure, or anything that involves a lot of weight on my wrists. I’m never sure how some people make it look so effortless!

  2. Caitlin

    awesome job girl!! i myself am still working on some particularly tough poses like crow and half moon. i just can’t get them! but i’m not practicing enough either. i have always been able to do wheel for some reason, i think because as a little kid i used to do weird yoga poses for fun like that and also plow and shoulder stand, without knowing they were yoga poses of course. however crow and half moon totally escape me.

  3. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    woohoo! i must confess i had no idea what full wheel pose was before i clicked over but i could just tell it was a big deal to you…loved reading this post and CONGRATS!!! nothing better than finally accomplishing something you’ve been chasing!

  4. Alison @ racingtales

    That’s is so awesome! Wheel is a pose I struggle with. I just can’t straighten my arms. I’ve done it with assistance, but never on my own! I know it’s just a matter of trying, and like you said, yoga is so different from running.

  5. Shannon @ Mon Amour

    Congrats! I’ve always been crazy flexible and would get competitive if someone was more flexible than me. I ended up straining my quad from pushing too hard. Lesson learned: always go at your own pace!

  6. Rachel

    Congrats on nailing full wheel! I haven’t been to yoga in a few weeks but I am always working on crow. I can hold it for 1-2 seconds but I want to be able to stay in it for at least 10 seconds.

    I am planning on getting out of my comfort zone tonight when I attend my first masters swim class. Hopefully it will go well!

  7. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    Well done!!

    Crow. I can never get it. One time I was in a class that really focused on it and the teacher gave me ONE TIP and all of a sudden it was SOOOO easy. But I have since forgotten that tip and no longer can do it again. *sigh*

  8. Kristina

    I laughed outloud when I saw the title of this post because I thought I was the only one who understood how exciting it was to nail this pose. I seriously was taking a yoga class once a week with a friend of mine and every week I struggled with it. Suddenly, when I did it one day I yelled outloud to my friend “Cat, LOOK!”…and of course the whole class heard and laughed while 1/2 of them somehow maintained crow pose. Still, it is now my favorite pose to do and I feel so badass when I do it.

  9. fiona

    FULL WHEEL!?! AMAZING!! Worth the capslock button for sure. I’m so excited by this since full wheel completely escapes me. I’m convinced it’s because my spine is so inflexible it is practically fused. I also am dying to get crow pose, and any inversion. Half moon on the other hand is something I love.

  10. Nicole

    Way to go on getting this pose! Woah!
    I went to yoga yesterday and have such horrible upper body strength that I told myself I’ll come back to it after I develop that more.

    So embarrassing how weak I am. Argh!

  11. Jen

    I figured you normally do wheel because you popped up into it so easily next to me! I love those moments when we finally get a pose. It took me years to get into crow and I was only able to do it last year. I want to learn how to do a handstand eventually!

  12. Maggie

    I went to my second aerial yoga class last night. Hanging upside down in the air, trusting the silks. Terrifying. And if you read today’s post about it….super embarrassing as well. Totally not sharing that another time today!

  13. Beth@ Adiphene review Blog

    Congrats on getting the full wheel pose – it is quite a great accomplishment because it is a vey hard pose to pull off. You should be proud of yourself – pushing yourself so hard is really yielding good results.

  14. Joan

    YOU SUCK. Not for doing it; that’s awesome. But I was pretty sure I could do that, so of course I had to go try – and didn’t think until after I was up there about how it might not feel great on my carpal-tunnely right wrist, especially doing it on the hardwood floor sans yoga mat. So I feel both sore AND accomplished 🙂

    Tree pose (a good one, not a crummy one) is hardest for me. Balance is NOT my friend!

  15. Swati

    Congratulations on doing such difficult pose. As someone starting out on yoga, I can only dream of doing such a tough pose. I still can’t do side plank pose well.


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