Tonight, I had my students bring their yoga mats to the wall for 50 minutes of asana using the wall. It's rare we get the opportunity to make our way to the edges of the room and spread out, but tonight, the class was small enough so that we could expand out and get playful. As I led the group through multiple poses and shapes, I used the wall for key support for spines, legs, and shoulders. I am always struck by how coming to the wall can create immense amounts of ease in the body, the nervous system, and our musculature. I remember in yoga teacher training we talked about floors and walls serving as these amazing props for people. Yet, I know in my own practice, I resist the support...I muscle my way through.
Watching people on the wall created a unified sense of stability. I saw people sink into poses, strengthen faster, and access their inner power a lot faster than without the wall. It was a rich reminder to me that building walls can be forms of support, instead of a blockade from the outside world. Walls can be fluid forces, showing up when needed, just to give us an extra lift in turbulent times. Coming to the wall can support our heart expanding and lifting up and open, collarbones wide. I saw my students accessing support and my hope is that they remember how vital it is to have these supportive pillars in our lives, whether it comes in the form of healthy food, time outside, valuable and rich livelihood, good friends and family, and self-compassion.
Yes, of course we can build walls that keep people out, but I like the version and model that I am building. Walls that can keep us stable and strong in the most turbulent of waters and forces.