Wall Yoga

Yin on the Wall

Doing poses against a wall can help you relieve stress and improve your flexibility, even if normal sitting yin yoga poses can be a bit painful - By Paul Steele

Reading time: 4 minutes

Got a wall? Then you’ve got all the support you need to do yin yoga. And the therapeutic benefits are the same, including reducing pain in your joints — especially your knees and hips — helping with backaches, stretching hamstrings and other muscles and connective tissues of your back and legs. What’s not to like?

Try these poses against a wall to help you relax and relieve stress and tension, especially in your neck and back

Wall Butterfly

This pose is ideal if you’re suffering from lower back pain as it supports your spine. It adds the benefits of gently stretching your hips and thighs, increasing your range of motion. From Wall Caterpillar, slide your legs down a bit then bring your feet together, letting your knees go as wide as the wall allows. Put your hands where they are most comfortable, over your stomach, chest, or out behind you.

Wall Straddle

This is a great pose for stretching your adductor (inner thigh) muscles as well as opening your hips without putting extra stress on your knees. From Caterpillar, let your legs splay apart to the sides of the wall as deep as you can go until you find your edge. When you’re ready you can use your hands to push your legs back together.

Tip: Why not make marks on the wall, then see how far down you come as you continue your practice?

Wall Squat

This ‘Happy Baby without the stress’ pose helps you stretch your hamstrings, hips, groin, abdomen and calf muscles. It’s an excellent pose to stimulate your glutes and relax your back. Start from Caterpillar, now bend both your knees and slide your feet down the wall. Maybe keep them hip[1]width apart. Just as in Caterpillar, if you feel it’s too hard to have your bottom right by the wall, simply slide it away a bit.

Wall Figure of 4

The perfect antidote to a long day behind a desk or sitting on a plane, Figure of Four against a wall is an excellent pose to stretch the glutes, hips, groin and lower back. Start from Caterpillar and slowly bend your straight leg, sliding your foot down the wall. Place your right ankle on your left knee. If you feel things are too tight, move away from the wall slightly. Rest on a pillow, blanket, or bolster if you like. Finished? How are you feeling now?

Wall Catepillar

This relaxing pose helps calm your body while helping reduce headaches as the flow of blood comes down from your feet. Sit sideways onto a wall, swing your legs upward, and rest onto your back. Try to wiggle closer to the wall until your sitting bones are against the wall and your legs above you. If you want more comfort, use a cushion or a blanket at the base of your back. Stay for as long as you feel comfortable.

Paul Steele is a copywriter, yin yoga teacher and author of the book Yin Yoga 50+ who lives in Malmö, Sweden. He teaches groups and individuals, often older people, who quickly see the benefits that this slow form of exercise brings. It is these benefits he has a passion in sharing. Find out more at: yinyoga50.com

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