Up Against the Wall

The phrase "up against the wall" conveys a feeling of being trapped or cornered. Basically, you're in an uncomfortable place, and feel like someone or something else put you there.

Yoga helps us see that there are always choices; that what might look like a wall hides a door. The next time you feel like you're up against a wall, explore why you might be feeling that way, instead of immediately looking for a way out of a situation or becoming frantic. What are you bristling against?

Many of the poses in this sequence use a wall to go deeper and explore poses. Of course, the sequence can also be done entirely without a wall, and will also have benefits. Here, the wall supports you, and helps you discover more about yourself and your practice. Reclaim the phrase, and be glad to be up against the wall.

Up Against the Wall

Even if you feel really comfortable in a balancing pose, try practicing it either touching the wall, or with the wall very close by. Notice how it affects your relationship to the pose, and to the ego. Also, for this sequence, I might recommend a few more relaxing poses or gentle twists at the end. Your favorites will probably do.

The sequence:
  1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
  2. Simhasana (Lion's breath)
  3. Supta Sukhasana (Forward folding over Sukhasana legs)
  4. Change crossing of legs, Supta Sukhasana
  5. Gentle twist to left (Matsyendrasana in Sukhasana), and then to right
  6. Hands behind sitz bones (Ischial Tuberosity), slight back bend
  7. Tadasana (Mountain)
  8. Ardha Uttanasa (Half Forward Fold) with palms pressing into wall, back at 90 degree angle to legs
  9. Uttanasana                                  
  10. Ardha Uttanasana
  11. Tadasana
  12. Turn back to wall, Tadasana
  13. Uttanasana, press legs into wall without hyperextending knees
  14. Garbasana (Child's pose)
  15. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), press heels into wall
  16. Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), pressing heel or outer edge or foot into wall
  17. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II), pressing outer edge of foot into wall
  18. Viparita Virabhadrasana (Revolved Warrior)
  19. Trikonasana (Triangle)
  20. Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle)
  21. Repeat steps 15-20
  22. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  23. Raise right leg, begin walking foot up wall, eventually coming into Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Split)
  24. Vinyasa to repeat with left leg
  25. Vinyasa to Tadasana
  26. Utthita Vayu Muktyasnana (Standing Wind Relieving Pose)
  27. Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
  28. Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
  29. Tadasana
  30. Repeat steps 27-29
  31. Vinyasa to seated
  32. Adho Muka Vrksasana (Handstand) or Sirsasana (Headstand) against wall
  33. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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