This is the one posture my students agree is their absolute favourite, so I make sure I incorporate Legs Up The Wall into every class! It’s also the pose I recommend after a stressful day at the office and it’s also the perfect posture to do during the day too. I have a yoga mat at my office and in the middle of the day I slip off my shoes and slide my legs up the wall. Why? Because it helps relieve stress and anxiety and after only a few minutes you will feel calmer!
Also known as Viparita Karani, it is a restorative and relaxing posture. In Sanskrit, “Viparita” means “upside down” and Karani means “doing.”
So what are the benefits of Legs Up The Wall?
- Regulates Blood pressure
- Lowers the heart rate
- Relieves tension in the lower back
- Stretches the hamstrings
- Drains fluid from the legs
- Calms the mind and eases anxiety
- Eases depression
How to get into Legs Up The Wall
Start by sitting with your right or left hip against the wall. With your hands by your side, turn your torso towards the wall, while at the same time lifting up your legs, one at a time to rest on the wall while slowly lowering your torso down onto the mat.
Your sitting bones will now be against the wall–or close to the wall. If you have tight hamstrings, your sitting bones will be further away from the wall. Don’t force yourself closer. Remember, this is a relaxing posture and you want to feel comfortable. For more support under the back, press the feet against the wall and slide a bolster or blanket under the hips.
Spread your arms out to the side, or bring the hands to rest on the belly. You can also take the arms overhead to rest on the floor behind you or under the neck, to extend through the shoulders. Focus on your breathing- inhaling and exhaling through the nose. You can add some weight to your body too by placing a bolster or block on your belly. This helps you feel more grounded. To reap the full benefits of Legs Up The Wall, gradually build up to 5 to 10 minutes.
This is my go-to pose and it is accessible for almost everyone. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you suffer from Glaucoma, Hypertension, Hernia, it’s best to avoid this posture . Always consult your doctor or specialist for advice.