Wall Yoga offers a chance to mix up your practice
By Tracy Dye
While most yoga classes involve students coming together to set intentions on their mats, one type of yoga can drive you up the wall — literally. Along with other props used during the class, Haven Alignment Yoga at Haven on the Lake uses a yoga wall to help students safely explore and deepen postures. The class is both energizing and restorative and provides several potential health benefits to its participants.
How does the yoga wall work?
Although the yoga wall may seem like an innovative addition to modern yoga classes, it has existed for several decades. Originally developed by the late B.K.S. Iyengar (creator of Iyengar yoga and considered to be one of the main gurus to introduce yoga to the West), the yoga wall uses ropes or straps to anchor yogis and intensify the effects of different postures.
At Haven, bullets attached to straps click into the yoga wall, creating a marionette-like harness for participants in order to keep them supported throughout the practice. By remaining tethered to the wall, you will be able to fully extend the body and also better understand proper form for each posture.
Using a yoga wall also allows students to hold asanas (yoga poses) for longer periods of time. Sustained stretching and proper execution of stretches offers participants numerous benefits, such as:
- Increased blood flow to muscles
- Tension release
- Decreased risk of injury
- Improved athletic performance
Another unique benefit of using a yoga wall for stretching is that it allows you to turn your workout upside down. Experts and novices alike can easily achieve inversions such as plow pose (halasana) and headstand (sirsasana). Inversions — particularly headstand — can improve circulation and digestive functioning due to the change in gravitational flow. According to MindBodyGreen, headstands have been shown to potentially decrease the risk of issues like ischemic stroke and alleviate symptoms of depression.
How to get started
Although use of the yoga wall is appropriate for all levels, it is recommended that you have some familiarity with basic yoga poses before taking a class where the wall is used. For those with little or no experience, Haven’s Yoga Basics class is the perfect way to build a foundation for your yoga practice.
Learn more details about all of Haven’s mind body classes here or call 410-715-3020 for more information. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and programming.