Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
Why You Need to Do It:
Because we live in stressful times my friend!
Legs up the wall, is one of the most calming restorative yoga poses out there. Are you ready for these benefits? Legs up the wall balances the nervous system, increases circulation, increases blood flow, cleanses the lymph nodes, aids in digestion, reduces stress, lowers the blood pressure, quiets the mind, relieves water retention, refreshes the internal organs and helps to calm anxiety. Long story short, this heart and hip opening yoga pose is AMAZING!
How to get in to it:
This pose can be practiced with no, minimal, or (for a super duper luxurious treat) many props.
You might want to have the following items (props) on hand:
sand bag hand weights
If you're using props, your setup might look something like this. Props are optional, so you can use one or all of these. Place a bolster towards the base of your yoga mat, about an inch from the wall. Over your bolster, place a folded blanket. Fold another blanket and set it on your mat perpendicular to the bolster. Your setup should make the shape of the letter T. Place a yoga strap around the middle of your thighs.
Now to get into the pose....
Sit at the edge of your bolster bringing your shoulder and hip against the wall. Lower down to your elbows and fan your legs upwards. Your spine will run the length of the blanket. You may have to shimmy forwards a bit until you can feel the wall against your sits bones and the backs of your legs and heels.
Allow your head to soften into the mat beneath you. Hold your arms out to the side, letting your hands grow heavy as you release your shoulder blades.
To add finishing touches with the props, bend your legs and place a folded blanket on top of your feet to ground your hips. Use weighted sand bags in each hand for grounding and then set an eye pillow over your eyes to cancel out light.
Let your blissful journey begin!
How Long to Hold?:
If you are new to this pose, five minutes is a good place to start. The more you practice Legs Up the Wall, the more comfortable it will become. For those used to the pose 10-15 minutes is ideal.
This is an excellent before bed pose. You also might try this after getting home from work before you settle into your life at home.