Well, I’m here this morning in Ventura, enjoying the cool ocean breeze as I wait for day 2 of the Great Yoga Wall Training. The Great Yoga Wall was created by these two lovely men, Bryan Legere and Kendric (I don’t know Kendric’s last name). Bryan is one of the few people in the US who can certify Iyengar teachers. The Iyengar training program takes YEARS of study, far beyond the typical 200-500 certification. The Yoga Wall is directly inspired by the work of Iyengar, who as most of you know, introduced the world to use of props for yoga. The ‘rope’ wall that was originally used for this system was made from plywood, hooks that protruded out from the wall, and yes, rope. Kendric, who I am guessing may be in his 80s now (but you’d never guess from his jovial spirit) injured his foot when he kicked up into a handstand using a traditional rope wall and rammed his right foot into a protruding hook. Yea….ouch. So he and Bryan worked together to create this fantastic system of brackets that use a ball and hook system in conjunction with several different types of belts, swings and bars. The result is this incredibly versatile ‘wall’ that can be used for all of these wonderful Iyengar inspired assists, or it can just be a wall, with nothing in the way, used for practicing handstands or other similar applications. The Great Yoga Wall system is fairly new, about 10 years old.
I love attending trainings or workshops in traditional schools of yoga (I’m speaking primarily of the Ashtanga and Iyengar schools). I love the connection to the lineage, however brief it may happen to be. These practices have proven themselves through decades of application. I know they work. I can completely trust the information. And while perhaps all of life is an experiment, being informed about the most efficient ways of getting the desired results can only help my own progress and the progress of the students I have the honor to work with.
I’m very excited about the Yoga Wall at the Yoga Shala. I think that students looking for new ways of building strength in their practice will find it. I also think that students who have struggled with wrist pain in downward dog, will finally be able to experience the pose in the restorative way it’s meant to be and students who are unable to practice headstand due to neck injuries, will finally have an easy and fun way to get upside down and receive the benefits of full inversions. There are endless possibilities with this wall.
Oh, and don’t worry about the strength of the Yoga Wall. They tested it a few years ago with a sort of tractor pull that measures weight. They put a single belt into a bracket and attached it to the pull. The bracket didn’t budge but the belt began to fray at 1500 pounds!
And by the way, Jenn touched her head to the soles of her feet for the first time in a Yoga Wall assisted Kaptosana yesterday! So beautiful to see!
OK…must get ready for class! See you all soon!