Of all of the bizarre things I’ve done in Sydney so far, I think Wall Yoga tops the list.
It’s at Elixr Gym in Bondi Junction, which is essentially the equivalent of an Indian holistic yoga retreat. They do classes all day of yoga, reformer pilates, boxing, aerobics, even meditation and I absolutely love going there. Since coming to Australia I’ve turned into one of those annoying people that really enjoy working out, because the culture here is so outdoors and healthy.
Wall Yoga is hard to put into words because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. On my first class, I grabbed a mat and tried to fit in with everyone picking up bizarre hammock type things, cushions, blocks and blankets.
Don, the incredibly kind, patient and lovely teacher immediately spotted me out as a wannabe wall yogi and came over to help me set up. You use the straps hanging from the wall and adjust them according to your height and flexibility to strap in various limbs and hang around from different poses.
The class is taken step by step by Don and he makes sure everyone is comfortable. We normally start off with a downward dog stretch where your legs are in the straps.
The entire class is pretty much variations of ordinary yoga poses but using the straps, and gives a ridiculously intense stretch to your body. People who think yoga doesn’t really do all that much (guilty!) – this one is definitely for you.
I won’t give it all away, but the final 15 minutes is the best. After stretching out all your body and feeling the burrrrn, you are manoeuvred into a position that basically leaves you hanging upside down.
The first time Don put me into this position I literally burst out laughing. I kept opening my eyes and looking around the room of dedicated wall-yoga-goers who were peacefully hanging upside down like sloths. It reminds me of when I used to spend hours hanging upside down from my apple tree in the garden growing up in England.
Don said ‘if you feel dizzy after two minutes, come out’. I remember laughing again because I had expected to stay like this for roughly 30 seconds! However he leaves you like that for TEN MINUTES. It’s a full on meditation session, just upside down. You feel the blood rush to your head and around your body and weirdly… really relax into it.
Afterwards you have a somewhat ‘normal’ vinyasa, only you put your head in a little hammock and get tucked up with a blanket. The only thing I can compare it to is having designated nap time in school.
Go and give it a try – you won’t regret it!
Wall Yoga is on most days at Elixr, and you can go for free with a free trial if you click here.