Why you need to put your legs up the wall
‘Poses for time when there’s no time’ – this is how Judith Hanson Lassater catalogues this pose in her restorative yoga book ‘Relax and Renew’. Viparita Karani or ‘Legs up the wall Pose.’ – a deeply nourishing pose, especially if energy levels are low. I just love (replace the word love with the word ‘need’) this pose just now – and it’s also one I recommend A LOT! If you’ve not tried legs up the wall pose for savasana, I urge you to do so – it’s just bliss.
A FEW OF THE BENEFITS
Relaxing and incredibly calming for the nervous system, gently boosts blood circulation to the upper body & head, especially after you’ve been sitting or standing for a long time; allowing fluid to drain out of the legs, giving the lymph a bit of a boost; it’s refreshing but also a wonderful de-regulating pose to use before bed.
TO GET INTO THE POSE
Sit side on to the wall, with your hips up close to the wall. From this position swivel round so your legs swing up the wall and your upper body, head and neck are on the ground. You want your hips to be in close to the wall. Stay anywhere between 2-10 minutes.
MODIFICATIONS / VARIATIONS
A folded blanket to lightly pillow the head / Folded blankets or a bolster under the sacrum to elevate the hips can be really nice / A belt (or dressing gown cord) tight round the legs ((around the thighs, just below the knees, or looped firmly around the shins) can ease effort & allow for a deeper relaxation.
Try placing a sand-bag (or improvise – a bag of rice or lentils works well) on the feet for a really grounding effect.
As an alternative try ASTRONAUT or ‘FEET UP AND REST POSE’ using the edge of a sofa or chair to rest your shins, knees are bent. Remarkably simple and effective. A great one for rejuvenating in the afternoon.
TO GET OUT OF THE POSE
Bend knees & roll carefully to one side and sit up. Especially if you have the belt round your legs!
Do not practice this inverted pose if you are menstruating, if you have sciatica, are more than 3 months pregnant or at risk of miscarriage.