Yoga Pose of the Month

Viparita Karani – Legs Up the Wall 

Our Pose of the Month – Viparita Karani – quite literally means “upside down “when translated to English!

I simply adore this pose! It is one of the most mind-blowingly calming and nourishing poses created in yoga, and it is one that I come to again and again when I am feeling overwhelmingly busy, stressed or a little indecisive.

What is it?

Basically, Legs Up the Wall posture is exactly as it sounds! You lie on your back with your legs up the wall.

  1. Come to seated, bringing your hip as close to the wall as you can, then lower yourself onto your back as you shuffle your hips closer to the wall as needed.
  2. Once settled, slowly start to extend your legs up the wall, so that the backs of your legs are resting fully against it.
  3. Take your arms either to rest alongside your body, or placing them overhead.

You can also use props such as blocks, blankets and bolsters as outlined further below.

This pose is about finding as much comfort and stillness in your body and mind as you can, so make yourself comfortable.

How Long Should I Hold it For?

I adore practicing this pose for at least 10 minutes, but honestly even finding myself with only 2-5 minutes to spare I find myself feeling instantly calmer.

This pose is an all time favorite, where you can’t help but feel lighter afterwards.

Benefits of the pose:

Relieves Tired Legs & Feet 

Hanging out with your legs up the wall is one of the best ways to drain tension from your legs and feet, quite simply by reversing the effects of gravity!

This is the perfect pose if you spend a lot of time on your feet during the day.

My mum swears by this pose for after a long run!

Ridiculously calming for our nervous system

Held for several minutes as a minimum this pose is one of the most restorative and relaxing poses I know. Try combining it with three part breathing or equal breathing to help move into your parasympathetic nervous system – our rest and digest place! This will leave you immediately finding a much calmer and blissful state of mind.

Helps us to Find a Quieter Mind

What muscle works the hardest in the body? The brain….now how often do you actually give this muscle a break? Legs up the Wall pose helps us to cultivate a quiet mind when practiced regularly and through our reconnection with the breath, and absolute state of stillness and relaxation we find a more meditative state of mind.

Feel all of the benefits of an inversion without the effort!

Inversions help us to reverse the effects of gravity on the whole system, help regulate blood pressure, help move stuck fluids, and even help to improve your digestion as well as change our perspective on what we find facing us. Sometimes coming to headstand or handstand can feel like way too much effort, so when you need something yummy, uber relaxing and mentally nourishing then Legs Up the Wall is your go to pose!

Variations

  • You can bring a block or blanket under your hips to elevate them increasing release of tension in the hips also.
  • You can put a strap around your legs and hang out here for an even longer period of time enjoying the full physical and mental benefits of this pose. You will find that tired legs will feel so much better after!

What is your favorite variation of this pose? Share the yoga love below!

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