Forget your yoga mat and focus your inspired yoga mind on the wall right in front of you!
Why not mix up your everyday salutations and flows with a few new tricks? Using a wall can be a great way to deepen your practice and have a little yoga fun!
The wall is one of the most useful tools when learning difficult (and sometimes daunting) new asanas. It is there to catch you if you fall, support your weight, help you balance and expand your practice.
- Find a wall
- Put your stretchy yoga gear on
- Let's get started
Wall friendly yoga poses you can try today…
An energising heart opener you will want to work up to once your muscles are warm. There's a real benefit to practicing this one with a wall as you can focus on pressing your hips forward against it. This action of pushing your chest and hips towards the wall and up will engage your core muscles and stabilise any potential stress on the spine.
For a less intense backbend you can keep your palms planted firmly on your lower back to protect your spine from going too deep into the stretch. Alternatively try reaching your hands closer to your toes and away from your knees.
Unwind at the wall with a calming relaxation pose. Place your sit bones as close to the wall as possible and raise your feet up. You could stop right here and enjoy a few rounds of deep breathing but this is also a great place to stretch your adductor muscles and open your hamstrings.
Gradually letting your feet fall to either side of your hips, keep your feet flexed to stabilise the knee joint. Let your feet find their natural resting place and as your muscles relax, you will find that your legs can reach closer and closer to the floor.
Just remember not to force any progress here and enjoy the pose.
I love this simple yet effective wall pose for a great shoulder workout and stretch. Mimicking the arms of dolphin posture you will also feel a strengthening of the arms, back and core with this move.
Rest here for a few rounds of breath, keeping the back straight and core muscles fully engaged. Esure that your weight is evenly distributed across your body and into your elbows, palms and knees. For a longer and more comfortable hold, adapt this pose by using a chair to rest your elbows on.
Keep the shoulder blades locked back and down to prevent the chest from collapsing and shoulders rounding towards the ears.
A more challenging pose for intermediate level yogis. Although this is not an entry level move, it is also not a tricky as you might first think.
Start by standing with your back to the wall and place your hands down on the floor a few feet in front of you. Be careful not to position your hands too close to the wall as it will force a lot of weight onto the arms and you could topple over. Leaving one foot on the floor, swing your other leg out to the side and up against the wall. From here you can slowly lift your other foot off the floor, bend the knee and tuck your foot to the side of your hip.
The biggest difference in a vertical pigeon stretch from the normal variety is that there is added resistance. Push your hips level against the wall by pressing your hands into the ground and chest closer towards to wall. This actually works wonders for improving alignment and releasing tight glutes and hip flexors.
Send your seal up the wall for a deeper stretch. It's a really simple posture to get into and you can make it as challenging as you like. The closer your body is to the wall the greater the intensity. Holding your arms up against the wall will also add to the challenge. For more control in this pose you can place your hands on the floor beside you and lift your hips off the ground for an easier variation.
To safely get out of the posture, bend your knees and press your hands into the wall as you straighten your back. Rest in child's pose here, rounding your back and pulling your belly in to counteract this strong backbend.
Work a strong back and core with this hollow forearm stand.
The trick here is to push your forearms into the floor, creating a really stable foundation. You will need a degree of shoulder flexibility here in order to balance your weight safely. It's a deceptive posture, as it doesn't require a great deal of shoulder and arm strength. Instead you need to have good control of your back and core muscles as you slowly inch your hips down towards the wall.
It can be quite a strange sensation as your hips move behind your shoulders and the heart pushes forward but it sure feels great when you get it!
If you are struggling with a hollow back posture, this might just be the wall-pose for you!
Urdva Dhanurasana is a favourite of mine and this straight-legged variation is best practiced at a wall. As you push your armpits and chest towards the wall you will feel a nice stretch across the shoulders and chest.
As with all yoga poses, don't push yourself beyond a range of motion that is comfortable. A strong body will keep the spine supported and reduce risk of injury so engage your deep core and leg muscles. With all this in mind, pressing your wheel to the wall will build shoulder strength and mobility for more challenging yoga inversions and arm balances.
Find your inner calm and rest in this easy, restorative pose. In lotus or with straight legs up on the wall take a few minutes. Whatever time you can spare to focus your breath and energy inwards will be highly beneficial. Put aside any distracting thoughts about your day or your practice and watch stillness arrive.
Did you know, simply raising your legs above your heart has powerful benefits for your health? It can aid digestion, circulation, calm the nervous system and relieve tired muscles. This is one not to miss!