Have you heard about this posture, Legs Up the Wall? In Sanskrit it’s called Viparita Karani, and I believe that people have been doing it in the West for years, but it’s only recently that we’ve linked it to Restorative Yoga.
When I was in primary school, I can remember my dad watching the football on television with his legs up the wall (with a beer by his side) as prescribed by his chiropractor. I would get along beside him and being a football player himself, I remember his legs looking like tree trunks next to my little sticks.
In particular, Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani) is considered one of the many inversions such as Headstand (Salamba Sirasana) or Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) that yogis practise. Even better, it’s an accessible pose for the majority of us be it beginner or advanced, young or old. Legs Up the Wall doesn’t put pressure on the neck or cervical spine, and it’s less risky than standing on your head. Here are a few benefits according to the Yoga Journal, when you take time to have a rest with your legs in the upright position:
-Relieves lower back-pain
-Gives headache relief
-Calms menstrual cramps
Other studies have shown that Legs Up the Wall may:
-Stretch the hamstrings
-Ward off varicose veins
-Relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes
When getting into the pose, make sure you shimmy your hips as close to the wall as possible. A folded towel may be placed under the hips if you’re wanting extra support and even a somewhat flat pillow under the head is allowable if you need more comfort. If your new to this pose, try to last for three or four minutes, and as time goes by, work your way up to 10 or 15 minutes.
What are your thoughts on Legs Up the Wall pose? Leave a comment below to share.