Lie Down to Cure Your Ails – Legs Up the Wall Pose

Viparita Karani or better known as Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose is a restorative pose with a mild inversion that some yogis claim will cure any ailment. Legs-Up-The-Wall pose achieves many benefits that inversions provide but in a gentler, more supported pose. The benefits of this pose include relieving tired or cramped feet; gently stretching the calves, back and neck; may relieve a mild backache; and calms the mind. For this pose, you may want support your lower back by using a small bolster or several folded blankets placed near the wall.

Instructions:

  1. Sit next to a wall so that your hip touches it. Bend your knees to your chest.
  2. On an exhale, lower yourself to the floor using your elbows to support your upper body. Roll so your legs are going up the wall.
  3. Then release your elbows and lower your whole torso to the ground.
  4. Adjust your head so that the base of your skull is away from your neck. Lift your sternum towards you chin, but do not tuck your chin. Pull your shoulder blades down your back and let your arms rest at your sides, palms up.
  5. While keeping your legs firm enough to remain on the wall, let their weight settle into your pelvis. Soften your belly and let it sink into your torso. Close your eyes.

If you are comfortable, stay in this position for several minutes. To let yourself out of the pose, bring your knees to your chest and roll to your side. Stay on your side for a few minutes, then rise on an exhalation.

Even though Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose is considered a restorative pose, many instructors also treat this pose as an inversion. Some yoga practitioners discourage performing inversions during menstruation. (Visit Yoga Journal here for a discussion of inversions during menstruation.)

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