Rope wall yoga is a hot new way to achieve a stronger, deeper, and more effective stretch and opening in the physical body. Used for several decades by followers of the Iyengar Yoga method, this tool has popped up in many studios around the nation to offer its incredible benefits to the greater population.
Foundations of the Rope Wall
The rope wall was designed by the late Indian yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar to support injuries, deepen the access to a pose, and allow for proper alignment. The ropes are attached to rungs that are drilled into a sturdy double blocked wall that provides both the support and the resistance that allow for the decompression of joints and ultimately the free range of motion in the physical body.
Benefits of Rope Wall Yoga
The rope wall is especially useful for people who are stiff, injured, or unable to perform yoga poses without added stability. The rope wall allows the yogi to become more aware of their body in space, a concept know as proprioception. For this reason, rope wall yoga is also beneficial for advanced yogis. Rope wall yoga also offers variations for deep backbends and inversions that can only be performed with a considerable amount of flexibility.
The most revered benefit of the rope wall is its ability to provide a much deeper stretch than a practitioner might normally find in a yoga pose. The traction of the ropes provides safe support that can be leveraged for deeper chest openers, spine extenders, and even some standing poses.
The rope wall also provides the ability to hold yoga poses for longer than one might be able to in the middle of the room. This provides a space where the yogi can clearly focus on the breath (a large component to the practice of yoga) and possibly even achieve a meditative state within a pose. Sometimes this offers a more profound release in the muscles and nerves than can be achieved in any other form of yoga.
Suspended inversions, such as variations of headstand, can also be practiced on the rope wall. This provides incredible health benefits to the spine, and offers the opportunity to practice inversions to those who may not be able to perform them on the floor.
Most Iyengar studios have a rope wall, but it's always best to check online or by calling the studio to know ahead of time. Several studios that are not specific to Iyengar have also started introducing rope walls into their spaces, so check out your local studios to see if one has appeared. Some studios even offer classes that are dedicated solely to the use of the rope wall, while other places offer classes where the rope wall is incorporated into the sequence.