Updated: May 1, 2022
For a lot of my life, "wheel" pose was called "back-bending" and I did it all. the. time. Though it still comes relatively easy as I age I realize that this whole backbending thing can be REALLY intimidating. During my YTT I was astonished to realize that many of my teacher peers had a fear of the whole backbending category with wheel being among the most intimidating.
So let's get one thing cleared up, wheel does not a yogi make. While it's fun to explore new poses and new spaces within your body, it's equally as important to know your limits.
Both bridge and wheel have foundation in the pelvic tilt. For all my patients and students, I typically use the same imagery. When lying on your back with your knees bent imagine a bowl of water resting on your pelvis, below the belly button. If you arch the back, you tip water towards your groin. If you tuck you tailbone (the opposite motion) you tip water onto the belly. Prior to engaging the legs and pushing into bridge or wheel, first tip the water onto your belly. Engage belly button to spine, and then lift!
Fa la la la la,