Legs Up The Wall Pose
Spring has officially got off to a start. Even though it is raining and cold as a type this on May 3rd...
Spring is a time of opposites. Sun, rain, warm, cold, growing, waiting, blooming, going over. Action and Inaction. What better posture to reflect this than... Legs-Up-The-Wall?! Viparita (inverted) Karani (in action).
Our body typically operates in an upright position. Standing, walking, sitting. When we lie down things settle. But when we elevate our legs and hips the "action" of our bodies flows in the opposite direction.
Action reverses. It becomes in-action. We give ourselves the opportunity for total rest.
It is said to reverse the flow of our fluids and lymphatic system in our lower bodies. Sending it all back. This is thought to reduce "congestion" in the pelvic region, knees, ankles and feet. It is believed to refresh the whole area. And as we stay here for anywhere from 2 - 30 mins it is incredibly relaxing to our nervous system.
If you are struggling to wind down, relax, or sleep, this may be a good practice to get into in the evening.
Start by creating a good place for practice. Place your yoga mat/rug/folded blankets at the base of the wall where you plan to lie. Something comfortable to lie on. Have a bolster, cushion, or folded blanket or two to hand to place under your hips when you are in position.
Scooch your bottom up against a wall, with your legs and torso at a right angle on the floor, try and get your bottom as close to the wall as possible. And then, using your hands to support you, carefully, swing your legs up the wall and bring your torso flat on your mat in one fluid gentle movement. You can now bend your knees to bring your feet flat on the wall, and push into your feet to lift your hips enough to slide your bolster/cushion/folded blanket under your hips. Push into your upper arms as well to get some more support.
Perhaps you have an eye pillow, or another blanket for your upper body? Let your arms rest away from your body, palms facing up. Spend as long as you need to now get comfortable. It will ensure you are happy to stay here for as long as you want to. The longer the better, but it may take a while to build up, so start with a few mins and take it from there.
If you have back, neck or pelvis problems be very careful, and never stay in a posture if you feel it is painful or wrong for you and your body. Always see your doctor before practicing any physical activity if you have any concerns or injuries. You can also bend your knees slightly too if that is more comfortable for you. Use additional props, blankets under your arms for example, to make yourself more comfortable.
When you have finished gently and carefully roll back onto your side, in the opposite motion your took to get up. Lay here for a few moments, taking nice deep breaths, until you feel ready to roll onto all fours. Take a childs' pose if you feel you need too. And only stand when you feel ready. Remember to drink plenty of water for the rest of the day, and avoid things like caffeine or alcohol which may over stimulate again.
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