Sometimes You Just Need Legs Up The Wall
In episode #005 of The Prana + Patchouli Podcast, we’re talking all about one of my all-time favourite poses, Legs Up The Wall, or to give it its Sanskrit name, Viparita Karani. I’ll be sharing:
Why it’s a “cure-all” pose that you’ll want to practise everyday;
How to do it and other creative possibilities if you don’t have a wall; and
Special access to a bonus video tutorial.
Press play or click here to listen:
I don’t think there’s a day that goes by where I don’t put my legs up the wall. Viparita Karani is one of my all-time favourite yoga poses, just because it feels so nourishing.
We’re busy and we don’t always have time for a 60 minute yoga practice. So, if you can only do one pose, let this be it. It’s sometimes known as the ‘cure-all’ pose and can help with so many things.
Put your legs up the wall to:
- Ease a headache;
- Cool your temperature;
- Improve digestion;
- Reduce swelling;
- Give your heart a break;
- Calm your mind and body;
- Soothe your nervous system; or
- Boost your mood.
You get the idea… sometimes you just need legs up the wall!
So, how do you do it?
I know this is a podcast, so if you’re new to the pose and would like to see it, you’ll also find an accompanying bonus video tutorial below that I made just for you.
You’ll begin by finding a clear space at the wall, or I’m also a fan of using furniture if you can’t get to a wall. Another option is to slide a block or a bolster underneath your sacrum, the bony triangle at the bottom of your spine and the back of your pelvis. This creates a supportive “shelf” to elevate your hips and means you can do this in the middle of the room, wherever you are!
Slide one hip up to the edge of the wall and carefully roll on to your back as you swing your legs up the wall. If you feel this a lot in your hamstrings, shimmy yourself further away from the walls so your knees can bend slightly. You might want to place some extra support like a pillow, a rolled towel or blanket underneath your sacrum, To do that, bend your knees and place your feet on the wall so you can lift your hips enough to place your support under your pelvis.
Rest your pelvis on the support and extend your legs up the wall and relax there.
Let your arms fall wherever it feels comfortable. Turning your palms up towards the sky allows you to become more receptive.
It takes courage to say yes to rest. But you are worth the time it takes to slow down and be still.
Close your eyes, allow yourself to be supported by the wall and floor beneath you and breathe deeply. Savour the quiet moments in between the inhale and exhale. You can stay here for anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes.
To come out, bend your knees and place your feet on the wall. Press your feet into the wall to lift your pelvis and slide the support out from under you. Hug your knees into your chest and roll to one side, pausing for a moment, then slowly press your way up to sit.
I like to lean my back against the wall, close my eyes and meditate for a moment, just to feel everything recalibrate and find my centre the right way up.
So, try it and don’t forget to check out the mini video tutorial that accompanies this episode in the resources below.
Happy relaxing with your legs up the wall and I’ll meet you back here next week for a brand new episode! If you haven’t already, be sure to hit subscribe so you don’t miss it!
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