3/100 ~ Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) – This is my favorite restorative yoga pose, and my students are always happy when I cue, “Legs up the wall, my friends!”
Benefits: Resting in this shape restores the body “back to normal” – a reset button, if you will. It’s great for soothing tired legs, helps to heal back injuries, and relieves tight muscles in the legs, hips and back. It improves circulation in the lower extremities, helps with restless leg syndrome, varicose veins, promotes drainage of excess fluid buildup and reduces swelling in the legs and feet. All that, plus it’s considered an inversion pose so it soothes the nervous system and calms the mind.
How to: Sit as close to the wall as you can. As you lie down, swing the legs up and rest them on the wall. You’ll most likely need to scoot yourself a little closer so that your bottom is either a few inches away from the wall or touching. If you have really tight hamstrings, move your seat away from the wall a bit. If you have difficulty holding the legs together and up the wall, you can secure a strap or belt around them for support. For extra comfort, or if your low back is tight, lift the hips and place a folded blanket underneath like I’ve done. Adjust your upper body by tucking your shoulder blades down and under, and draw the chin a little closer to the chest to create length in the back of the neck. Deepen the breath and slow it down, then rest here for 5 to 20 minutes. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, do it slowly! You can thank me later. 😉
Mantra: “I deserve regular time-outs to take good care of myself.”