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Legs up the Wall: Foundation Yoga Pose Series

VIPARITA KARANI VARIATION

Level 1: Beginner

This pose does exactly what it says on the tin: just get those legs up the wall and relax! This is a perfect posture for people who spend all day on their feet, and in stressful roles, and gives us the benefits of an inversion in a gentle and effortless way.

Benefits:

  • Improves circulation and helps to reduce swelling in legs/feet
  • Soothes tired leg muscles and allows gentle stretching of the hamstrings
  • Allows for supported stretching of the lower back by reducing the curvature of the lumbar spine
  • Allows relaxation of the pelvic floor
  • Encourages relaxation and calming of the mind
  • Can help to relieve menstrual pain for some women
  • Can aid with insomnia, promotes entering a sleepy state

Contraindications/Cautions (consult your physician):

  • Inflammation/injuries of the lower back
  • Glaucoma
  • Conditions of the Cardiovascular/Nervous systems (consult your doctor)
  • Fine for pregnancy BUT use bolsters/pillows etc to prop the torso up, so you have head above heart and are not lying flat.
Sit for legs up the wall
Get as close to the wall as is comfortable
  1. Start by sitting next to the wall, as close as possible to it, with the feet on the floor and the knees tucked up.
  2. Slowly lower down on the side body (that is not against the wall) and come on to the back, keeping the legs tucked in.
  3. Be as close to the wall as is comfortable- for most people this will involve a small amount of space between the wall and the buttocks.
  4. Carefully extend the legs up in to a straight position, taking care not to lock the knees.
  5. Arms can be out by the sides at roughly 45 degrees with palms facing downwards, or resting on the belly if you would like to try Belly Breathing during this posture.
  6. Try and stay for at least 5 minutes, or as long as is comfortable, and breathe.
  7. When you are ready to come down, begin by slowly bringing the legs back down to a tucked position, and carefully roll to the side, using the arms to support you up into a seated position. Take your time before standing up.

 

Viparita karani variation
Relax and breathe! Arms can be out to the side or on the belly…

 

NOTES:

  • Using props to increase comfort levels can help make this pose even more relaxing. Placing a bolster/pillow along the length of the spine can add a gentle chest-opening effect.
  • If you get any intense tingling in the feet/legs, gently bend the knees and place the soles of the feet against the wall. If this persists stop the pose and consult a medical professional.
  • Spending a few minutes with your legs up the wall as part of your ‘getting ready for bed’ routine can help to ease the transition into sleep.

 

LUTW
Keep the feet gently flexed to allow the hamstrings to stretch

IMG_3035

 

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