Legs up against the Wall (viparita karina) – This pose takes restorative to a whole new level. Get comfortable. Yes. Read this and then; technology off. Get into position. Close your eyes and if you tend to peak, cover them. Time to meditate. Time to breathe. Time to restore.
Pose – Grab a mat, towel/blanket or two and/or bolster to get started. The pose requires your head lower than your heart and pelvis and stomach in neutral alignment. The distance from your buttocks to the wall will be dependent on flexibility and height. Blankets should be lower and and the distance against the wall farther if muscles feel tight. Use more blankets or a higher bolster if you have increased flexibility and move closer to the wall. Towel can also be used for the head for neck support. Chin tipped slightly slower than the forehead. Legs are firm and comfortable against the wall. No tension should exist. Instead a feeling of lengthening and limbering. Sitting bones release to the floor. Modification is legs on a chair with knees bent. Arms are typically out on either sides with the palms up to the sky which opens the heart and chest for added benefits. Sometimes after a stressful day I might choose to hold one hand on my heart and the other on my stomach and focus on a thoughtful and calming breath. Once comfortable, give yourself time to marinate in your pose. Recommend 5-20 minutes. When leaving the pose pull your knees to your chest and roll to the fetal position on side. Take your time getting up safely.
- Circulation and blood flow
- Limbering and lengthening of the back of the legs
- Relieves tension; headaches, anxiety, stress, mild backaches, legs and ankles swelling
- Relaxes the nervous system. A good way to clear your mind and support relaxation and sleeps.
This pose is not recommended for women menstruating and post their third month of pregnancy. Also, if you have spinal or neck injuries, glaucoma, have heart conditions and/or high blood pressure be cautious and consult your physician.