Wall Yoga For Flexibility & Mobility
Yoga has gone through many upgrades and modifications. One of the new ways of doing this age old practice of Yoga is the Wall Yoga. Wall Yoga requires many straps, ropes, hooks and other hardware that are attached to the wall and then used to perform the moves of regular yoga, although with a few changes.
Really! Wall Yoga is an art and science of healthy living. I must say, my first introduction to yoga was an unusual one. As a child, I would spend my vacations at my grandfather’s house either making “natural medicines” from the herbs in his garden. Equally, in my free time, I used to read a lot as I was a good reader for my age.
Fortunately, one day I caught something interesting than the Enid Blyton series ‐ a yellow paper book about Wall Yoga. Sounds interesting! But as far as I know, my grandfather has never had the slightest interest in yoga. But for some reason, he had the book. Immediately I started reading and I was hooked. For me, it was an alien with fascinating concepts…
So are you ready for the Wall?
When I was 20, I tried yoga properly. I was working for a charity and the headmaster of the school offered to teach us yoga every morning. Practicing yoga is one of the beautiful experiences as there is something wonderful to discover in every pose. But honestly, Wall Yoga is my favorite pose ever. This posture is one of the most refreshing and calming poses I can think of, and seriously I have turned to it many times in my own life (whenever I feel tired or stressed out).
History & Evolution of Wall Yoga
This yoga is generally considered as the mother of all yoga poses as it helps you find a perfect alignment, length, and balance. Here, based on BKS Iyengar’s principles of alignment the wall is considered as a prop to deepen the asana by opening and creating space in your body (mainly by using the therapeutic techniques). Equally, the original Wall Yoga took in the form of ropes attached to the wall hooks. But, as years passed, it involved certain changes, where new systems of adjustable straps were introduced to accommodate body types of all kinds. Actually, the new system was designed by Kedric Wolfe in the early 80’s after he was injured with the older system of wall hooks. Hence, he developed an innovative design of wall plates, which is a spring loaded socket which can prevent injuries to your body. Overall, there are 100’s of poses that can be done with the help of this Yoga Wall system.
What are benefits of Wall Yoga?
- This Wall Yoga helps improve the overall flexibility and mobility in your joints and spine.
- Equally, develops strength in the small and large muscle groups.
- Allows you perform hundreds of poses.
- The practice can be used as a workout tool to help competitive athletes in cross training and preparation for the exams.
- Helps learners heal from athletic injuries, arthritis, degenerative disc disorder, and sciatica.
- Wall Yoga uses specific postures and positioning, awareness to open the joints, movement, and breath, connective tissue and joints.
- Helps individuals work through fear and develop confidence in them. So, they are able to take what they have learned on the wall to their mats and into their daily lives.
- Alternatively, allows standing postures, twists, and inversions, forward and back bends.
- Above all, you will look great after doing these yoga poses. Mainly because it is a balanced practice made to open your spine in every direction.
Wall Yoga poses
Well, a wall is considered as the yogi’s best friend. From opening the body to stabilizing a pose there are many ways to use a Wall in your yoga practice. All in all, it can serve as a great teacher at your home. Some of the poses include…
Forward Fold against a wall
- This is quite interesting. First, stand in front of a wall. Then come in a forward fold pose keeping your feet hip-width apart and knees bent.
- In this step, bring your butt against the wall.
- In the third step, press down through the inner edges of your feet as you start to lift you’re sitting bones higher up the wall to straighten your legs.
- Finally, in order to go deeper, step back until your heels touch the baseboard.
Revolved hand to big toe pose with top foot anchored
- Initially, in this pose, lifting your foot flat against the wall could be tricky. But later, you will love the stability it gives.
- First, you need to stand facing the wall (at about a leg’s length away from the wall) keeping your feet outer hip-width apart.
- In the second step, with the help of your hands on your hips bend both the knees and bring the ball of your right foot up onto the wall (as high as possible).
- Next, start to straighten both the legs, pulling back through the outer edge of the lifted right hip while you press your heel into the wall.
- Now, reach your arms up overhead. Then press down through your bottom heal and rise up through the spine.
- In this step, simply exhale and twist right, bringing your right arm back and left arm towards the wall.
- Finally, drop down through your outer right hip when you lengthen your side bodies and twist over your right leg.
Core Work in L Shape
- To do this pose, come onto all fours keeping your hands under the shoulders, knees under the hips and soles of your feet pressing into the base of the wall.
- Next, tuck your toes under on the floor and straighten your legs (coming into a shortened version of downward dog at the wall).
- Now, raise one foot up the wall with your toes curled about the height of your hips.
- After this, begin to straighten the raised leg, pressing the sole of your foot into the wall and sending your hips over the shoulders.
- Equally, once you are comfortable in L Shape with your hands and shoulders draw your floating ribs in toward your core. Then slowly begin to raise one leg towards the ceiling.
- Next, keeping your lifted leg straight, lower your leg back down brushing the sole of your foot along the wall on its way down.
- In this step, bend your top knee and tap the bottom toes on the floor.
- Then press down strongly through your inner palms, move slowly and stay integrated.
- Continue three times on each leg before coming down.
Downward dog on the wall (Right angle handstand)
- Initially, roll out your mat with one short edge up against the wall. Then sit up against the walls with your legs outstretched.
- Next, come onto your hands and knees. Do place your hands where your heels were and shoulders at a width distance apart.
- In this step, come into a downward facing dog pose with your heels touching the baseboard.
- Then, inhale and firm your upper arms and wrap your shoulder blades in the direction of the armpits.
- Here, exhale and walk your feet about 4 feet up the wall. Mound your shoulder over your wrists, relax the neck and pull your front ribs in.
- Now, align your body so it’s a right angle, bending from the hips. Then relax your head and neck and stay in this pose for up to five breaths.
- Finally, to come out of the pose, walk your feet down the wall. Afterwards, set your knees down; sit on your heels keeping your arms outstretched and come to the child’s pose.
Legs up the wall pose
- Start by placing one blanket at the end of your mat to touch the wall. But, the easiest method to come into this pose is to sit sideways with your right side placed against the wall.
- Then, inhale deeply, filling your lungs with rejuvenating oxygen. Equally, as you exhale swivel your hips to the wall.
- Stay in this pose for 10 to 1 minutes. Alternatively, if you feel your legs are starting to spread then you may loop a yoga strap around the calves and adjust accordingly.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose and you will feel supported by your props.
- In order, to come out of this pose, gently press the bottoms of your feet into the wall and lift your hips to
remove the props.
Rope Wall Yoga
Also known as ‘yoga karunta’ or ‘yoga puppetry’. The ropes used in this yoga serves as a natural form of resistance, to release the normal tension and pressure on the joints. Equally, a wide range of poses can be done on this rope. Mainly like standing, inverted, back bending poses and much more…
Through this yoga you will learn:
- Spinal Decomposition: This Wall Yoga practice will teach you how to harness the power of gravity to decompress your spine.
- Pelvic Power: It would help you stretch and strengthen the pelvic region and reduce compression in the joints of the pelvis.
- Shoulder girdle goodness: Here, you will learn how this yoga is beneficial to create stability and openness in the shoulder girdle.
My experiences on Wall Yoga
From my experiences, I would say that Wall Yoga is a great practice for decreasing tension in your spine. It works on the level of one’s body, mind, emotion, and energy. Equally, the practice is good for the travellers, people with desk jobs and those with a history of back troubles. I have come across many students, who have experienced a great reduction in aches and pains with this yoga.
Finally, I would say that yoga is a great transformational experience that works on your mind and body. All you need to give it some time and dedication it deserves.