I admit that my yoga room, while not crowded, is certainly not lacking in stuff. I squeeze a lot into the one room, as it's my yoga studio, office, exercise space, and computer room (when I'm not on my laptop at another location). And since one wall in the room is almost all windows, wall space is at a premium. Still, sometimes I like to clear the space and use the wall to support my yoga practice.
My short yoga wall routine is as follows:
- I start with a gentle Upward Dog against the wall. Standing a foot or two from the wall, I place my palms on the wall at shoulder height (my chin is down towards my chest). On an inhale I push against the wall, gently arching the back and raise my chin to the ceiling. This is great way to loosen any back and neck stiffness before jumping into more vigorous activity.
- I then move into Triangle against the wall by standing with my back to the wall, feet spread wider than the hips with both of my feet straight ahead. I turn my left foot out to the side so that it's perpendicular to the straight leg. While I do this, I keep my hips squarely on the wall. I drop my left arm down behind my left leg, extending the right arm straight up to the ceiling with the palm facing out. I stay here for a few breaths before moving to the other side.
- From here I go into Warrior. I stand with my back near the wall and my feet about 4 feet apart apart. I turn my left foot in slightly and my right foot out 90 degrees, parallel to the wall, while keeping my right hip touching the wall. I fend my left knee, bringing my arms up above my head. Sometimes I'll do this dynamically (bending the knee and then straightening the knee) a few times before holding for a few breaths before doing the other side.
- I then come into wall squats, which is basically me coming into a sitting position with my back against the wall, with my knees bent so they are above my ankles (not my toes). To go deeper into this pose, I push against the wall with my lower back, allowing my quads to do the work. I'll hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.
- From here I come into a deep hamstring stretch by standing a foot or two away from the wall and bending down towards the floor while my bum is resting against the wall. Depending upon how much of a stretch I want, I play with the distance between the wall and my feet.
- From there I sit with my back against the wall, legs straight out in from of me. I bring my shoulder blades together, tighten my thighs and flex my feet so my toes are pointing towards me. I keep my arms relaxed down at my side. I hold this pose for a minute or two.
- I end with Legs Up the Wall pose for as long as I desire.
Yes, sometimes you don't need fancy props -- a simple wall will do.
If you're interested in trying something totally different with a wall, you could try Parkour. It's not for the faint of heart (or body, for that matter), but it's pretty darned cool: