Legs up the Wall Pose: Viparita Karani
Legs up the Wall Pose is a restorative, relaxing and gentle inversion that has manybenefits:
- Eases anxiety and stress
- Therapeutic for arthritis, headaches, high blood pressure, low blood pressure and insomnia
- Eases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cramps and menopause
- Relieves tired or cramped feet and legs
- Gently stretches the hamstrings, legs and lower back
- Relieves lower back pain
- Calms the mind
Although this is a mild and restorative posture, it is still considered an inversion. Although many teachers recommend it as a therapeutic posture for several conditions, you should check with a doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
Viparita Karani (vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee)
Viparita: reversed/ inverted
Many people enjoy this pose using props – you may want to have a pillow, bolster or folded blanket nearby.
1. Find an open wall space. Start seated beside the wall, with your feet on the floor in front of you and your left side body in contact with the wall. On an exhale, gently lie down on your back and pivot yourself so that the backs of your legs are pressing against the wall and the bottoms of your feet are facing up. You may need to wiggle around to find your way into this position.
2. Your sitting bones should now be pressed up against the wall, or slightly away from the wall, and your back and head rested on the floor; this will form approximately a 90-degree angle in your body.
3. If you find this position uncomfortable in any way, or just wish for extra cushion, you can use your prop here. By pressing the bottoms of your feet into the wall, lift your hips slightly and slide your prop underneath your hips.
4. Let the back of your head be heavy and your neck be in a neutral position. Soften your face and your throat. Let your hands rest either on your bellyor down by your sides, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and breath deeply through your nose.
5. Stay here for anywhere from 5-15 minutes. To come out of the position, push the bottoms of your feet into the wall and lift your hips slightly. Gently roll to one side, being sure to slide your support out of the way if you have used one. Stay on your side for a few breaths before returning to your seat.
- To stretch your inner thighs and groin muscles, let your feet fall out to the sides so your legs make a wide “V” shape
- If you neck is sore, place a rolled up blanket under your neck, or a pillow under your head.