Legs-up-the-wall pose, as known as Viparita Karani (in sanskrit) is a beautifully restorative posture that most people have access to. All you need is a free bit of wall space and 5-10 minutes and you are away. I particularly like to practice this pose after a long day at work; ‘putting your feet up’ really is the best thing you can do for tired legs.
How to do it
Bring your mat up against the wall, so that the end of your mat is touching the bottom of the wall.
Come to sit with one of your hips up against the wall, and in one movement windmill your legs up the wall, which will in turn bring your buttocks to touch the wall. Adjust slightly so that you are comfortable, shuffling so that your bum isn’t squashed against the wall. If you have quite tight hamstrings, you may need to shuffle away from the wall slightly more.
Place your arms at a comfortable distance from the body, with the palms facing up. Alternatively, place your hands onto your belly.
Become really aware of your breath. How it moves in and out of the body. The rise and fall of your belly.
Stay here for 5-10 minutes, or as long as you like.
It is also lovely to place pillows or a bolster underneath the lower back in this posture, which helps to release tension in the lower back.
Helps to relieve tired and achy legs.
Gently stretches the backs of the legs.
Relieves mild back pain.
Relaxes and calms the mind.
If you are performing this pose with cushions or bolsters underneath your lower back, do not practice during menstruation. Inversions are not advised during this time. However, without the support underneath this inversion is safe to practice even during menstruation as it doesn’t disrupt the natural direction of the flow. Read our blog Yoga for Period Pain for more information.
As with all inversions, do not practice if you have glaucoma.
Thank you for reading,