One of the most beautiful things about yoga is that you don’t need a whole lot in order to practice. Sure, there’s a lot of fancy outfits, unique props, and specific yoga mats to choose from nowadays- but traditionally, all you needed was your body.
What’s better is that you can lean on everyday items around you, rather than investing into yoga props. One of the best everyday props to use is simple: the wall.
There are a million different kinds of yoga poses to choose from. And one of the main components in yoga is balance, which means some of these shapes might feel damn near impossible without added support. This is where our handy dandy wall friend comes into play.
Using a wall for yoga can aid in balance support, grounding, and serve as a steadying force that allows you to do yoga postures that you might not otherwise be able to practice. The wall can serve as a supportive touch point that can enhance your practice- helping you to feel energized in the morning, and rested in the evening.
Today’s post will share a round up of yoga poses with the wall that you can start incorporating today!
10 Wall Yoga Poses
It’s so fun to get creative with your yoga practice by adding a new element into it, even if that element is something as seemingly mundane as the wall. I know that most people associate wall yoga to be easier and more restorative. And sometimes it is!
However, you can also use the wall to deepen your experience in a shape, or to take your yoga practice to the next level. These poses are for new and experienced practitioners alike. Have fun with it!
Legs Up The Wall
Legs up the wall is one of my favorite inversions. It’s a great way to soothe the body, and reverse the blood flow out of the feet and legs and into the head and heart. This pose helps with circulation, and should definitely be practiced after a long flight, or for those of you who sit for the majority of the day.
- Lie flat on your back, and scoot your bum up to the edge of the wall.
- Once you’re steady, slowly extend your legs to work them towards a straight position.
- It’s okay if you need to keep your knees bent.
- Try to send all of your weight into the wall for support, and gently press your low back down to keep it flat.
- Hands stay by your sides, or place them anywhere that’s comfortable.
- Close your eyes, and take a deep breath here.
Reclined Butterfly Pose
Reclined Butterfly is a wall pose that feels so incredible, you won’t want to get up. This is great for opening the hips and inner thighs in a supported and grounded way. It also provides a really sweet release for the low back through the hip opening.
- Lie flat on your back, and move closer to the wall with your bum until it connects.
- Inhale to send your legs high for Legs Up The Wall Pose.
- And exhale to find a Reclined Butterfly- press your feet together, and bending your knees out to the side. Your heels will slide down towards your groin.
- Keep breathing here, while the outer edges of your feet are touching the wall. It’s okay that the knees will come off the wall.
- The lower your heels are to your groin, the more sensation you’ll feel. So, if it’s too much, lift your feet higher.
- The more you press into the wall with your outer feet, the more support you’ll have.
Figure Four Pose
Figure Four Pose is another delicious hip opener that tends to feel pretty yummy for those with low back pain, sciatica, desk workers, or runners. This pose will target the outer hip area with a juicy opening.
- Sit with your back against the wall, so it’s super flat, and extend your legs out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee to cross your right ankle over your left leg, so it’s resting right on the thigh. Flex your right foot right away.
- Walk your hands by your hips, and press into your hands while you press your back into the wall to begin bending the left knee, and planting the left foot on the ground.
- Keep your upper body tall, and spine flat on the wall.
- The closer your left foot gets to your groin, the more sensation you’ll feel in your outer right hip.
- Whenever you’re ready, release and repeat on the other side.
Dragonfly Pose is a Yin posture that helps with opening the inner hips, and releasing the low back. This pose will also target the hamstrings, and it will likely take you deeper into the inner hips than reclined Butterfly Pose.
- Start in Legs Up The Wall Pose.
- Take an inhale to make sure your back is flat to the ground.
- As you exhale, find Dragonfly Pose by opening your legs into a straddle, while keeping them against the wall.
- Bring your hands overhead, or place them onto your belly if that feels good.
- Keep breathing where you land.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
Downward Facing Dog is a staple posture in Vinyasa, Hatha, and Ashtanga Yoga. If you’ve been to more rigorous yoga classes like these, then you’ll notice that Downward Facing Dog is used a lot. If you struggle to find comfort in this pose, then practice with the wall to get the grounded support you need in your ankles and heels.
- Start with your toes tucked, and your heels pressing into the wall- so you’re facing away from the wall, and your bum is pointing towards it.
- Inhale to plant your hands underneath you with all 10 fingers fanne wide.
- Exhale to Downward Facing Dog by lifting your knees and hips to make an inverted V shape with your body.
- Keep breathing as you walk your hands in front of you to widen the shape as needed.
- Continue to press your heels into the wall to find more support.
Chair Pose with the wall is one that can be found in movement classes other than just yoga. Oftentimes, it’s used to build strength and tonify in the thighs. Using the wall with your chair pose can help you to find more balance, and even depth in your Chair Pose.
- Start with your back flat against the wall in a standing position.
- Walk your feet slightly in front of your knees, and take an inhale to find length all the way up through the crown of your head.
- Exhale to Chair Pose, by sinking into an imaginary chair by lowering your hips in line with your knees.
- Keep pressing your back into the wall for support, and keep breathing.
- See if you can sink a little lower in your chair than you would be able to without the support of the wall.
- Try to stay for 3 – 5 breaths.
Standing Puppy Pose
Standing Puppy Pose is one of the best shapes you can practice in the middle of a work day. Why? Because it opens your chest and shoulders, which tend to round in for those of you working at a desk job. Because it’s standing, it also targets length in the hamstrings, too.
- Start standing facing the wall with feet as wide as the hips, and place your hands on the wall just above shoulder height with straight arms.
- Take an inhale to find length in the back, and backs of the legs.
- Exhale to Standing Puppy Pose, by sinking your heart low and opening the shoulders.
- Keep the legs as long as possible, while you let your chest get as heavy as possible.
- Continue to breathe as you work on spreading your sitting bones skyward to further target the hamstrings.
Tree Pose is one of those standing balances that can be incredibly grounding and stabilizing, but it can also be really challenging for those who struggle with standing on one foot. If you experience vertigo, have sinus issues, or neuropathy in the feet and legs- using the wall with Tree Pose is the best option for you.
- Start standing parallel to the wall, so that the side of your hip is facing the wall. We’ll start with the right side, so make sure your outer right foot is closest to the wall, and your right arm is facing it.
- Place your hand on the wall to stabilize, by pressing into your fingertips or full palm.
- Inhale to slowly lift the left foot off the ground, and just hover to find the balance. Press deeply into your right big toe for balance.
- Still holding the wall with your right hand, exhale to Tree Pose by placing your inner left foot somewhere along your inner right leg (other than the knee joint).
- Keep breathing as you work on opening your left side hip and knee out to the side, to get expansive across the pelvis.
- When you’re ready, release and repeat on the second side.
I know that Handstand can sound intimidating, but I promise you it’s a whole lot more accessible with the wall. I only like to teach Handstand with the wall using an L-shape Handstand, rather than kicking the feet for the wall, because this version builds strength and alignment. You can learn more in my How To Handstand series or on my app.
- Start sitting against the wall with your back flat on the wall, and your legs extended forward like you’re about to do a forward fold.
- Notice where your heels are on the ground, then get up and place your palms in that same spot.
- Spread all 10 fingers nice and wide, and actually grip into the ground with your hands to stabilize.
- Fix your gaze in one spot. Traditionally, this will be between your hands, but if it helps you to watch your feet and legs, then look back at the wall.
- Inhale to slowly start walking up the wall with your feet. You need to make sure you’re pressing a lot of weight into your feet, which will shift most of your weight into your hands.
- Exhale to find the full L-shape, walking your feet in line with your hips, rather than higher or lower.
- Keep breathing here, keeping your gaze in one place.
- Work on pressing your legs out straight if they’re not already, and pressing the ground away from you with your hands to lift up and out of your shoulders.
Dancer Pose is another standing balance pose that also incorporates backbending qualities. This means it provides stabilizing and grounding, as well as expansion and exhilaration. Learn more about backbends with my Heart Medicine series, or from this post.
- Start standing facing the wall. Place your right hand on the wall, until your arm can extend straight. Keep the palm about as high as your eye line.
- Stabilize into your right foot, by pressing into your big toe.
- Inhale to lift your left foot off the ground to hover, and slowly draw your left foot towards your left bum cheek until you can grab the outer ankle with the left hand. Keep pressing your right hand into the wall for balance.
- Exhale to Dancer Pose, by slowly tilting the chest forward towards the wall while you kick your left heel skyward.
- Continue to work the pose with the breath. Use the inhales to lift up from the chest as you kick your left heel up, and use the exhales to explore depth as you spill the chest slightly forward to counterbalance the kick.
- Continue to breathe, and work on making more of a teardrop shape with your body, rather than dumping all the weight forward. It helps to keep the right hand lifted in line with the gaze, rather than lowering it as you tilt forward.
I hope you enjoy these wall poses in your next yoga practice, my friends. You’re going to love them. I just know it!