A yoga wall simply includes a wall with a series of ropes, which students use to hold certain yoga poses. Husband-wife team Jason Sharp and Elizabeth Emberly—the owners of Montreal’s Naada Yoga—have implemented a yoga wall in their studio. Elizabeth says you can compare a yoga wall to a common inversion table, where you hang upside down by your ankles. Ankles, however, are a small and vulnerable joint, so the yoga wall is about using your pelvis as an anchor, which is a lot more stable.
In regards to inversions, a big benefit of the yoga wall is that it helps students stay comfortably in inverted positions for a longer period of time. Inversions that don’t use tables usually put pressure on smaller joints such as the neck, head, and cervical spine, so using the yoga wall relieves a lot of this pressure. It’s also beneficial for the traction it creates in the spine.
The benefits of yoga, in general, include increased flexibility, improvements in balance and concentration, weight loss, back pain and arthritis relief, and improvement in mental health. But wall yoga takes these benefits a step further. Elizabeth says that the yoga wall provides additional support for challenging positions, which means that advanced poses are more accessible to a wider audience: “It accelerates the understanding of how to gradually open and unfold physical and mental tension.”
Elizabeth mentions that in today’s society, people are spending a lot of time in front of computers, usually resulting in a slouched posture and a twisted spine: “If a sedentary lifestyle is not countered with regular movement practices like yoga, then it’s not unlikely pathologies may develop in the body.” Elizabeth says the yoga wall has proven to be especially beneficial for students with back conditions such as scoliosis, herniated or bulging discs, and sciatica.
If wall yoga sounds intriguing, then a visit to Naada Yoga is a must. The studio has a variety of classes—from relaxing and restorative yoga to advanced vinyasa classes—that use the wall yoga props. Elizabeth says that once students learn how to effectively use the yoga wall, they can “integrate the props as support in order to individualize one’s yoga practice to gain maximum benefit.”