10 Surprising Ways to Use a Wall When Twisting

With the amount of reading I’m throwing at you this week, it may feel like you, too, are in the grad school. Today, I’m bringing you a piece I wrote for yoga journal about twisting. Who doesn’t need a good twist at the end of the year?

When you think of using the wall in your asana practice, it’s probably to help with inversions by kicking or crawling up the wall or to rest your legs in the supremely relaxing Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani).

Yet a wall can do so much more, helping to deepen many postures and providing feedback on muscle activation that can eventually help you practice those same postures without the support of a wall.

See also 5 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress with NYC Yoga Teacher Kristin Calabria

Case in point: These 10 twisting yoga poses, which you can do using a wall for support. 

Chest Opener

Walk your nose and toes to the wall. Take your left hand underneath your shoulder, with elbow bent back (like in Chaturanga). Extend your right arm out to the side at shoulder height. Looking over at your left hand, press the left palm firmly into the wall as you begin to rotate your chest towards the left hand. Begin to pivot your toes toward the left so that the pinky side edge of your feet is parallel to the wall. If you can, continue to rotate your chest and feet towards the center of the room, keeping your right shoulder and arm firmly pressed into the wall. Once you reach your maximal twist, pause for 10 breaths. Slowly unwind, returning to your starting position of nose and toes to the wall. Repeat on the other side.

See also 7 Yoga Poses to Open Your Heart and Shoulders

Read the rest on yogajournal.com