IT resembles ancient torture, but hanging off the wall from a couple of straps is actually good for you, says Fremantle Yoga’s Kate Porotto.
“For people who don’t have flexibility the wall helps stretching without pressure on joints,” she says, adding it’s great for beginners and experienced yoga practitioners alike.
“For the beginner students, support of the yoga wall enables access to various asana [yoga positions] while learning the engagement of small and large muscle groups, an essential foundation for performing the asana on the mat.”
Ms Porotto runs Fremantle’s oldest yoga school, Fremantle Yoga, along with Off the Wall Yoga in East Fremantle.
When the Herald called she was in party preparation mode, gearing up to celebrate Fremantle Yoga’s 40th birthday on Sunday (March 21).
Original owner Peter Davies had been left half-crippled following back surgery in 1972. With medicos all but giving up on him, the-then 21-year-old travelled to India, where he knocked on the door of yoga teacher BKS Iyengar.
With almost immediate relief for his back he stayed for several months, returning again in 1974 for two years’ further study.
Lent $300 by a mate he opened Fremantle Yoga Centre in 1976. Since then there’s been a few owners over the years, including Kale Leaf, now in his 70s, who sold the business to Ms Porotto 10 years ago. He continues to teach there.
“Kale is one of the masters, the best teacher in Perth,” Ms Porotto beams.
She’s scathing of what she calls “pop” yoga teachers claiming to be experts after a short course: “They get away with it because it’s not regulated.”
Her courses cover two years of intensive training, so when a client presents with a tricky problem like a bulging disc they know what to do: “How do you do that with a two-week course?” she scoffs.
Fremantle Yoga is at door 4, E-Shed markets. For more information go to http://www.fremantleyoga.com
by JENNY D’ANGER