Common Wall Yoga Postures for Beginners. What Kind of Yoga Can I do Off the Wall?
Wall yoga can seem intimidating at first. However, there are many accessible poses that beginner yogis can try out on their own with the support of a simple, wall!
Here, we'll discuss yoga positions that can be done on the wall, and how you can practice this type of yoga as a beginner, successfully.
When first getting into yoga, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start and what positions you are capable of doing. So we've compiled some of the best wall yoga poses for you. All of these poses can be done in your home with minimal yoga equipment.
What Are Wall Yoga Postures?
Wall yoga is a type of yoga that is practiced with the aid of a wall. In some cases, people attach straps and other yoga props to their walls to perform incredible feats of flexibility. However, as a beginner, this may not be best suited for you, as you are still learning what your body is capable of in the world, that is yoga.
What Are The Benefits of Wall Yoga Postures?
There are a few benefits of wall yoga postures, and we'll touch on them briefly here. Primarily, wall yoga is great for full-body circulation and decompression. Our bodies build up all kinds of tension and stress throughout the day, so even performing "simple" wall yoga, helps alleviate some of that stress off the body and helps you relax into healing postures.
Wall yoga can also be used for more prolonged sessions of yoga or postures. For instance, if you're looking to workout or maintain a specific posture, and stay deep into this position, the support from a wall to do this can be an ideal. Alternatively you could try having a partner to help with yoga postures, otherwise you may struggle to stay in one position depending on your capabilities.
Even if you're a complete beginner, you won’t have as much difficulty in getting into various beginner wall poses!
Top Wall Yoga Postures For Beginners:
* Disclaimer: Please DON'T start with the above posture, haha!
In this final section, we'll discuss some of the best yoga, off the wall postures and poses, you can do as a beginner. These poses are fun, relaxing, and you can try them out at home, fairly easily. As always though, it's helpful to attend even a beginner yoga class.
The main purpose of yoga in the first place is to bring some balance to both the body and mind. If you're new to this practice, it is about pushing yourself, but it's also about finding yourself. Learn what your capabilities are, both physically and mentally. Ease into the practice using tools that can aid you and give you confidence to explore more intricate body maneuvers.
So, don’t be afraid to stay in these wall postures for longer stretches of time, which may lead to a better deep stretch and overall experience. In fact, like other forms of yoga, take your time with wall yoga, know yourself a little better after each session, then explore new challenges!
1. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Legs up the wall pose, or viparita karani pose, is a relaxing and soothing wall posture that is great for beginners. You don’t have to do much to get into this pose. In addition, legs up the wall pose helps promote alignment and may even help with lower extremity swelling in the legs and feet as it aids in blood circulation back to the core of your body.
To get into this posture, set up your mat against the wall. You can even set up a pillow, cushion, or a yoga blanket that can go under your hips/lower back. Have your mat lay vertically, then proceed to the ground. You want your back against the ground/mat and your legs up the wall.
Your hips should be as close to the wall as you can get them. You can do this by placing your butt against the wall. Then carefully climb your feet up the wall, going at your own pace.
You can stay in this posture as long as you want to. You can take short breaks even allowing your legs (at the knee, of course) to bend down and rest. You can place your hands behind your head, on your tummy, or off to the sides of your body.
Some people even stay in viparita karani for twenty-minutes or longer. Prolonging this pose can actually release a lot of compression and stress that has built up throughout your day!
Here is a Quick Glimpse of Legs Up the Wall Pose
2. Downward Facing Dog
The downward-facing dog is a popular yoga pose that can be done on your mat and with the aid of a wall. This modified version of the pose is easier on your joints, and helps promote posture and stability. In addition, this is a very easy wall yoga posture to get into, and get that good stretch.
Many areas of your body will get a good stretch with this pose. This includes your back, legs, chest, spine, and shoulders, and, if your body isn’t ready to do a normal downward facing dog, this is a great way to build up to this fundamental yoga pose!
To do the downward facing dog on the wall, start by placing your mat in a vertical position. Your mat should be somewhat close to the wall. Next, you'll want to stand straight at an arm's length away from your wall. This way you can fully stretch out your arms.
Then start to stretch your palms out and touch the wall, your legs should be about shoulder width apart. Walk your hands down the wall as you simultaneously bend at the hip, keeping your torso straight. Your hands can be slightly above your head plane and your arms should be fully extended out.
Lean your body weight into this position, and make sure your spine is not curved or bent-over. You'll want to keep your back straight and your head in-between your shoulders. This way your posture, flexibility, and muscle tone improve. Hold this position for as long as you want/can, then carefully walk back up the wall.
Here is a Quick Glimpse into "Wall" Downward Facing Dog Pose
3. Reclined Head to Big Toe Pose
The next pose is a little easier and can be done in a reclined position. This reclined head to big toe pose can help rid stress/tension within your arms, legs, and back.
You will need your mat, a strap for your leg, and a wall to press your foot against. To begin this post, lay down on your mat horizontally. Stay on your back with both legs lengthened out in front of you. The heels of your feet should be pressed against the wall.
Next, get your strap out, wrap the strap against one foot and bring your leg up above you. You'll want to raise your leg up to a ninety degree angle. But, don’t lift your upper body. Your back should stay firm against the mat and your shoulder should stay on the ground, as well. Keep your elbows bent and on the mat as well.
Your other leg should stay straight with your foot pressed into the wall. This will help ground the pose. Stay in this position for as long as you want, then switch legs!
4. Standing Forward Bend
This final wall yoga pose is simple, yet effective, especially if you want to build-up to a full standing forward bend. This is also a good yoga posture for people with high-anxiety and tension in their hips, legs, or hamstrings.
There are several ways to do the standing forward bend on the wall, but first you'll want to place your mat out.
1. Stand up straight and lean your butt against your wall. Keep your feet around shoulder length apart, and put your heels closer to the wall.
The closer you are to the wall, the deeper you can stretch out your hips and legs, however you should do what is most comfortable for your body at the moment. Once your legs are situated, bend your knees a little, then start to fold forward. Make sure that your back stays completely straight. Hunching over will make this less effective.
Then, touch the ground with your palms. If you need help, you can also use a yoga block and hold onto that as you fold forward. We recommend staying in this pose for around one-minute intervals. But, again, do what feels right for your body!
A Quick Glimpse of the Standing Forward Bend Using the Wall
Alternatively you can try this forward bend facing the wall.
Some of the things we love about yoga is that you can go at your own pace, it's challenging, it has mind and body benefits, but also is that it has the ability to allow for creativity and modifications. This is one of those modifications that really allows beginners to build up some fundamental stretches so that they can then challenge themselves later, with other positions.
Not all of us developed with superior flexibility or mind-body control. For some of us, it takes some time to build-up to certain feats. Being able to perform yoga maneuvers like these on, or "off" the wall, can have tremendous benefits in the future.