Movement Monday

Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose) 

The restorative nature of this posture has many health benefits as it allows the blood to flow to parts of the body that need it. Reversing the usual blood flow is very refreshing and vitalizing for the body. Use blankets or a bolster, of course you don’t need to, but for comfort it is suggested.

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How to get into the pose safely:

1: Sit next to wall with your knees bent and your left shoulder and left hip against the wall.

2: Swing around to bring your bottom up close to the wall  supporting yourself on your elbows and forearms.

3: Move your legs straight up the wall, keep them relaxed and move slowly. Come away from the wall if your hamstrings are tight and remember comfort is important.

4: Make sure your chin is slightly lower than your forehead. Your neck should feel comfortable. Take note of how you feel in the pose, if blood flow to the head is obstructed, the brain cannot relax. This can be facilitated by using a towel rolled and placed under your neck. Take your time and do what feels right for you today.

5: Have your arms by your sides with your palms turned up, as you would in savasana. This opens up the area under your arm pits and gives space to open your chest and heart area.

6: Breath slowly and deeply. Your spine should be able to relax.

7: When coming out of the pose, bring your knees to your chest and very gently roll out to your right side. Make sure to pause before you get up.  This is important as it gives your blood pressure time to adjust.

Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose:

  • Relieves swollen ankles
  • Helps circulation and varicose veins
  • Helps testicular, semen, and ovarian problems
  • Improves digestion
  • Restores tired feet or legs
  • Relieves mild backache
  • Provides migraine and headache relief
  • Helps keep you young and vital
  • Calms anxiety
  • Relieves symptoms of mild depression and insomnia
  • Regulates blood flow

It is recommended to stay in this pose anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

Sources: Relax and Renew by Judith Lasater and Health Benefits of Viparita Karani by  Rob Kiltz