Performing various movements and poses with your body can work towards healing numerous ailments and certain health conditions. The practice of yoga focuses on treating and strengthening the mind and body with many techniques to perform during a yoga routine.
Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Viparita Karani, when translated from Sanskrit, is the action of inverting and is commonly referred to as the Legs Up the Wall pose. A passive variation of the Shoulderstand pose, legs up the wall pose provides comfort and relaxation to the legs.
In this pose, the individual uses the support of a wall or a bolster to rest the legs on this form of support in order to perform the pose.
Legs Up the Wall Pose Directions:
The following steps will help you master the legs up the wall technique in no time:
- Lie on the floor facing a wall or a beam for support. Keep your body relaxed.
- Inhale and swing your legs up to place your heels on the wall and your hips supported against it. You can stretch out your arms horizontally and inline with your shoulders.
- Lie back so that your head is lined up directly with the top of your spine. Your spine should extend in a straight line from the crown of your head to the tailbone.
- Exhale and bend your knees slightly. Gently close your eyes and hold here for a few breaths as you try to maintain the position for five to 10 minutes.
- As you exhale, bend the knees completely and start to lower the heels down to roll your body off to the right side.
- Lie on your side for a few breaths before returning back up to sit upright.
Legs Up the Wall Pose Variations:
The following variations can help to provide comfort and more support if you are finding it uncomfortable to practice legs up the wall pose.
If you are experiencing any lower back or neck pain, fold a yoga mat or a thick towel and place it under your back and neck for comfort.
Looking to layer up? Try to perform this pose without the support of a wall or a beam. Your abs and hips are engaged as you try to support your legs.
You have the option to bend your knees if you find it uncomfortable to fully extend your legs on the wall. With more time and practice you should be able to straighten out your legs more, but for the time being, listen to your body and only stretch your legs as far as you can.
Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose:
Legs up the wall pose helps the body in various ways, especially targeting the legs and lower back.
Some of the added benefits of legs up the wall include:
- Lowers anxiety, stress, and insomnia
- Alleviates tension in the lower back and ankles
- Helps soothe swollen or cramped feet and legs
- Stretches the legs and hamstrings
- Keeps your blood pressure under control
- Aids digestive issues
Legs Up the Wall Pose Follow-Up Poses:
Legs up the wall pose is usually practiced towards the end of the routine right before Savasana and Pranayama.
1. How can one perform the legs up the wall pose?
Make sure to have a wall or beam next to you for support. Follow the directions above to help you practice this pose with ease.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/10/2018
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Editors, Y. (2007, August 28). Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose. Retrieved from https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/legs-up-the-wall-pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/legs-up-the-wall-pose
6 Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose. (2016, November 16). Retrieved from https://www.doyouyoga.com/6-benefits-of-legs-up-the-wall-pose-48440/