Relieve Stress with Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Self Care Challenge – Day 17

By Carly Baumann, Yoga Instructor (RYT 200) and Certified Yoga Nidra Facilitator

 

Relieve Stress with Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

To relax the body and mind with just a few minutes at the start your day, end of your day, or any point and place in between – throw those legs up the wall! Or a chair, door, tree, headboard…

 

Legs Up the Wall is an inversion pose; it reverses the flow of energy in the body. In addition to its relaxing benefits, it is a great stretch for the hip and leg muscles and alleviates tension in the back. I love to use it as a low-effort “reset button” when I need a shift of perspective, and it has been a lifesaver for my swollen legs and feet during and post-pregnancy.

 

The pose itself is as simple as lying on your back, bottom close to wall, with legs extended upward – heels to the wall (or legs bent on chair, bed, or sofa).

 

To get there:

  1. Place a yoga mat perpendicular to the wall (or not, as long as you are comfortable!). You may like a folded towel or blanket nearby to later place under your head and perhaps one under your sacrum for a bit of height.
  2. Sit down with your right side against the wall, right hip as close as possible.
  3. Gently begin to lie back as you pivot your body, engaging the core and hips and to draw the legs up, back of the legs facing the wall. You won’t be an exact 90 degree angle – keep the hips a few inches from the wall. You may need to shimmy your hips to settle closer or further away to a comfortable position.
  4. Once you are in the pose, close your eyes and rest here for 5 minutes or linger for up to 20. Now breathe, relax, and let go… Imagine each exhalation relieving tension even more. Let the torso melt into the floor. Arms and hands may be alongside the body, resting on your belly, or even in a relaxed stretch overhead.
  5. To come out, bend the knees and with the feet pressing the wall, “walk” the legs down the wall as you gently roll to one side toward the floor. Rest here as long as you like and mindfully make your way up to hands and knees.

 

Continue to refine your ability to find your “reset buttons” and join me for Yoga & Yoga Nidra classes at Mattapoisett Wellness Center on Wednesday nights from 7:00 – 8:15 PM. Register here