Have you ever done a wall yoga?
As a yoga teacher, we always want to bring our students safely through their yoga asana practices, yet improving their strength and flexibility. So, during our teacher training we learn various ways to achieve this.
With our Iyengar background, we often use props such as blocks or using wall. Wall asanas are one of our favorite, and here is a little tip on how to create your wall sequence.
What is a responsible sequence?
A sequence is made from various poses, or repeated poses that is done during a yoga class. Responsible sequence means that we create the poses with constant observation to students’ bodies and minimize the risk of injuries. Here are some tips to create a responsible wall sequence.
Initiate the yoga process
This is the transition from out of the mat into the mat. So, start by connecting with our breaths, feeling the belly rises when we inhale and draw the navel towards the spine during the exhale. Stay here for ten to twenty breaths.
Warm-up the body
Start from Four Point Kneeling pose. Then inhale, drop the belly down and open the chest. On the exhale, round the back and draw the belly into the spine. Continue this Cat Cow poses to slowly building heat in the body.
From here, tuck the toes under and straighten the knees into Downward Facing Dog pose. Widen the feet to the outer side of the mat. Inhale and lift your right hand and place it to your left hip, left calf or ankle. Feeling the gentle twist and lateral stretch. Switch to the other side after 5 breaths.
Sun salutation using the wall. Make sure that during Plank, the heels are lifted high and pushing against the wall. Downward Facing Dog will have the heels against the wall as well.
Explore the pathway to the peak pose
If we aim for a peak pose, we prepare the body here.
Let’s aim for Half Moon with the back foot pushing against the wall in this sequence.
Place a block at the top of the mat.
Start from Downward Facing dog with the feet against the wall, then step one leg forward and come into High Crescent Lunge.
Then, in this pose, make sure the back foot is firmly pushing against the wall, then the front knee is on top of the front ankle. Hips are squared facing the front of the mat.
Exhale, then slowly drop the back heel down and open the hip into Warrior 2.
Keeping the front knee on top of the front ankle, exhale flip the front palm and then inhale lift the front arm to the direction of your back foot into Reverse Warrior. Feel the lateral stretch here. Inhale and come back into Warrior 2.
From here, exhale again and this time place the front elbow on top of the front thigh. Then inhale and scoop the back arm up into Extended Side Angle Pose. Keeping the chest open to your side and side of body receiving the lateral stretch. Inhale, come up back into Warrior 2.
Gaze to the block in front of the front foot. Making sure that the front foot and the front knee facing to the front, slowly engage your core and shift your weight to the front leg. Keeping the hips open and the chest open to the side, lifting your back leg. Reach down with your front arm to the block, without collapsing into it. Spread the back toes and push the foot against the wall. Stay 5 breaths. Then exhale, and lower back down into Warrior 2. Try the peak pose a couple of time.
Calming down and Savasana
Then after the Peak pose, we start to calm down to neutralizing tension, calming mind. Start by Child Pose for a few breaths. Add some Reclined Spinal Twist, or Happy Baby. Then lay on your back into Savasana – Corpse pose.