3 Reasons to Put Your Legs up The Wall (Viparia Karani)
Viparita Karani is commonly known as ‘Legs up the wall pose’ which is a fairly straightforward explanation on what the pose actually entails. However the benefits of this simple posture are pretty remarkable; which is no surprise why it is deemed ‘The Great Rejuvenator’. It’s a lovely combination of a restorative and inverted posture.
This pose is lovely to practice if you’ve been on your feet all day, after travelling or at the end of your yoga practice. In relation to this pose Donna Farhi says “If you have time for no other practice, I recommend this one”. Here are the reasons why:
By reversing the effects of gravity in this inversion, it can help the movement and flow of both blood and lymphatic fluid. This improved circulation will help reduce oedema and also gives a gentle boost toward the upper body. In scriptures it’s also known to ‘destroy old age’ by diminishing wrinkles!
This quiet restorative postures helps calm the mind. Inversions have been long been linked to improving mood and reliving symptoms of depression. With your legs up the wall you get all those benefits without the work. Relaxing in this posture combined with deep rhythmic breathing, the nervous system has an opportunity to slow down.
Post Workout Rejuvenation
Spending time with your legs up the wall will drain out any tension in your legs and feet. This is especially important for those sports people or gym bunnies that rely on the strength and stamina of the legs. With the weight of the femur bone in the hip sockets, the psoas has space to relax while the hamstrings are also being stretched. Excellent after ‘Leg Day’ 😉
How to do it:
- Sit with your hip against the wall then roll onto your back swinging the legs vertically up the wall with the sitting bones as close if not touching the wall.
- Adjust the distance to the wall if the hamstrings are tight so you can comfortably rest the heels against the wall and keep the legs straight.
- Relax your arms alongside the body, palms facing up or alternatively above the head to open the shoulders.
- Make sure your back is straight, the chin is tucked toward the chest slightly and the back of your neck is extended.
- Enjoy the pose anywhere from 5-15 minutes breathing deeply all the time.