8 Things to Know About Wall Yoga

Yoga class­es some­times incor­po­rate the wall as a prop of sorts—legs up against the wall in a yin class, for instance, or using the wall to deep­en a ham­string stretch.

But wall yoga is dif­fer­ent. In wall yoga, the wall is more than just a prop. It’s just as impor­tant as the stu­dio floor—if not more. To find out what we mean, read on.

The Con­cept

The idea behind wall yoga is to use straps attached to hooks on a wall to assist stu­dents with their yoga prac­tice. The use of the straps, com­bined with grav­i­ty, allows yogis to expe­ri­ence a tru­ly ver­ti­cal prac­tice (think flip­ping your prac­tice by 90 degrees). This allows stu­dents to expe­ri­ence near-weight­less­ness as they explore pos­tures in total­ly new ways.

The Perks
If you’re won­der­ing what, exact­ly, is to be gained from prac­tic­ing yoga dan­gling from ropes, here are some of the answers: wall yoga allows you to hold pos­es longer (remem­ber, the feel­ing of weight­less­ness!), to increase your strength, to strength­en dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups that are typ­i­cal­ly used, and to improve flex­i­bil­i­ty (thanks to the use of props).

Go Ahead—Teach an Old Dog New TricksDownward Dog
Per­haps you’ve stretched out into down­ward dog thou­sands of times before. Just like a new teacher can offer new insight into old famil­iar pos­es, so too can straps dan­gling from the wall. Imag­ine prac­tic­ing down­ward dog with a strap around your pelvis, gen­tly hold­ing your hips up and back with min­i­mal effort—just think of all the dif­fer­ent aspects of the pose this lit­tle bit of help would allow you to explore! It’s music to the ears of yogi look­ing to refresh their prac­tice.

Where in the World…
From Aus­tria to Aus­tralia, from Texas to Que­bec, there are many inter­na­tion­al stu­dios that offer wall yoga, but it’s still a rel­a­tive­ly niche prac­tice. In the Unit­ed States, Cal­i­for­nia and New York are the most pop­u­lar places for wall yoga—and don’t for­get about the stu­dio in Austin, Texas!

Yep, Savasana, Too!
It’s hard to pic­ture corpse pose—an asana that tra­di­tion­al­ly involves lying still on the ground—as a ‘ver­ti­cal’ pose. Wall yoga offers a new way of expe­ri­enc­ing savasana: straps hold you against the wall, allow­ing you to expe­ri­ence savasana upside down. Just when you thought you had heard it all.

Get Trained
As you might imag­ine, wall yoga involves some spe­cial­ized knowl­edge, name­ly the abil­i­ty to oper­ate and nav­i­gate the straps so that they help, not hin­der, your prac­tice. Teach­ers should be spe­cial­ly trained in wall yoga before show­ing stu­dents the ropes.

Not Just Yoga
Wall yoga sys­tems can also be used for Pilates, gen­er­al fit­ness train­ing, and phys­i­cal therapy—which will appeal to stu­dios that offer a range of class­es and activ­i­ties.