There is one pose that rejuvenates me like no other! What is it?
Legs-up -the-wall, or supported viparita karani.
Not only does legs-up-the-wall feel like a condensed nap, but it also helps relieve and prevent tired legs, lower back pain, menstrual cramps, anxiety, digestive disorders, varicose veins, sciatica, and arthritis. To top it off, it’s an easy pose to do. All you need is open wall space and, ideally, a yoga mat or one to two yoga blankets. You may also want to place a bolster or a pillow under the lower back for extra support.
- Place a folded blanket or mat perpendicular to an uncluttered wall.
- Lie on one side and line both sides of your seat up against with the wall. You should feel that each sitting bone makes contact with the wall. This is very important for an easy ascent into the pose! Please reference the first photo above as needed.
- Roll onto your back and extend your legs up the wall.
- Broaden across the collarbones by gently walking your shoulder blades toward one another and then allowing them to relax back down. Allow the palms to rest face up or place one hand on the belly and one on the heart.
- Rest for at least 5 minutes. I often stay for up to 20 minutes. If you feel a tingling sensation in the legs, it’s time to come down. To do so, slowly release the post and rest on your back until the blood flow returns.
- How to release: You can roll onto your right side and rest or, if you’re using a blanket on top of a wooden floor, gently slide away from the walls by pushing through the feet. The latter is my preferred exit. Not only is it somewhat amusing, but it allows the spine to rest in a neutral position, free of extra torsion. It’s also an excellent way to transition into savasana, or corpse post.