Pose of the month - Legs up the wall

Viparita Karani
Find freedom from many conditions of the body and mind with Viparita Karani or Legs up the Wall! This pose is said to improve the functioning and health of both men and women's reproductive organs, regulate blood flow, improve digestion, calms anxiety, relieves symptoms of depression and insomnia as well as helps keep one young and vital just to name a few benefits... Not to mention, the restorative nature of this posture is a great way to find balance during the summer season and beat the heat!  

Step by step Instruction: 

1. Start seated sideways to the wall, with your feet on the floor in front of you and your side body against the wall.

2. 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. 

3. Your sits 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.

4. You can stay here or it might feel nice to place a block, bolster or stack of blankets underneath you. 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 belly or 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 (sliding away any props if necessary). Gently roll to one side, stay on your side for a few breaths and then return to your seat.

Modified Variation: 

In addition to using blankets, bolsters or a block to support the body you might also use a strap and a sand bag. Once in the pose you can snug the strap around your thighs, just above the knees. The strap will help hold your legs in place, allowing you to further relax the legs and soften the groins. For placement of the sandbag, bend the knees and lay the bag across your soles (or heels) and then re-straighten the knees, pushing the bag actively toward the ceiling. This weight on the legs helps release tension in the lower back.

Cautions and Contraindications:

Although this is a mild and restorative posture, it is still considered an inversion. You should check with a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Glaucoma, High blood pressure.

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