If you enjoy practicing yoga but are always looking for a new challenge, wall yoga might be the answer. This type of yoga is available at many studios and provides an opportunity to put your body into some unique positions — and, in many cases, share a few laughs with those in your class as you experience the challenges of this practice. Wall yoga is held in a room with reinforced wooden walls covered in brackets that hold a series of straps that will support your limbs and torso, as directed by the instructor. Here are some advantages to checking out this type of yoga.
Stretching Muscles in a New Way
Much of yoga involves stretching, so it's only sensible that wall yoga allows you the opportunity to deepen some of your stretches. For example, if you stand with your back to the wall, grab two of the straps and allow your chest to lean forward while keeping your feet at the base of the wall and your hands behind you, you'll feel a healthy stretch across your chest. If you have trouble opening up your chest with conventional yoga poses, you may find that the use of the ropes, coupled with your body's weight as resistance, can provide the stretch you're looking for.
Help for Back Pain
A common cause of back pain is the compression of the discs in the spine. Because there's always vertical pressure on the spine when you're upright, the discs in the lower back can possibly get pushed out of alignment, resulting in sharp nerve pain. Although you'll need to share your back pain with the wall yoga instructor to ensure that you don't perform any poses that could worsen your discomfort, many wall yoga poses can help to alleviate this pain. For example, looping your ankles into some straps on the wall and elevating your heels can gently pull on your spine, temporarily reversing the compression.
A Physical Challenge
Many competitive athletes turn to wall yoga as another discipline to master, especially if they feel that their usual yoga class isn't offering as much of a physical challenge. If you peek through the door of an advanced class, you'll see students suspended upside down from the straps with their backs against the wall and their heads resting a few inches from the floor. If you're the type of person who is always up for a challenge, this new form of yoga will give you something new to master.
If you want to try this type of yoga, check out some local yoga classes near you.