Hanging Out the Yoga Way

The Great Yoga Wall ?

Using the Great Yoga Wall ? like this one at the Embody Yoga and Physical Therapy Center in La Jolla, California can enhance the yogi experience.

Many of you may have experienced both the exhilaration and peaceful state that a yoga practice provides. One of the reasons we feel so good after doing yoga is because it is a balanced physical practice designed to open the spine in every direction.

This is also what sets it apart from your average sport. Most sports are a function of repetitive movements that can often cause repetitive stress on the body or tightness in certain areas because of the posture adopted during that specific sport. In yoga it is said that "you are only as old as your spine." In other words, as long as you have a healthy and flexible spine, your ability to participate in life is endless. The spine is your vitality; it houses all the nerves that keep your muscles and organs functioning optimally. It is also the home of the central channel or "Shushumna Nadi" in the yoga tradition, which is where we hold our "Prana" or life force.

For the spine and joints, gravity is not always our friend. It causes wear and tear over time, loss of height, osteoarthritis in the joints and loss of mobility. Imagine what the possibilities would be if we could open the spine in every direction without compression, in other words in a state of traction. The only way to do this would be to practice while hanging upside down. Impossible? Not so. The Great Yoga Wall ? makes it possible.

Upside Down Yoga Wall

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