Legs Up The Wall, or Viparita Karani, is a restorative yoga pose that allows your mind and the body to relax. You can give yourself permission to completely let go physically, mentally, and spiritually.
This is one of the most beautifully passive and relaxing yoga poses. It doesn’t require much flexibility or strength to do it, so even the most novice yoga scholar will sink into this pose beautifully.
We asked yogini and Reiki master Trudy Vains to give us the low down on this peaceful pose.
Coming Into Legs Up The Wall
Before you come into the pose, ask yourself the following questions:
- ‘When was the last time I stopped and relaxed?’
- ‘When was the last time that I noticed my breathing pattern?’
- ‘When have I put myself first?’
Now make a note in your diary when you last put the above into practice. Really make a note of it. Now, vow to yourself to do this pose every few days. I promise you that your body and mind will love you for it.
Now, let’s get into the goodness of this pose!
- Start by setting up your space next to a wall. Roll out your mat, have a cushion, blanket and eye pillow at the ready, nice and close.
- Lay on your side with your buttocks touching the wall so you look like a sideways ‘L’. Roll around so you are now laying on your back, with your legs facing leaning straight along the wall and buttocks pressed flat against it. Knees can be bent or legs straight – it’s totally up to you.
- Use your props if you need to. perhaps place a pillow under your head, your eye pillow over your eyes, or pop a blanket over yourself. The more you relax and let go, the cooler the room becomes, so you may wish to get as cosy as possible in legs up the wall pose.
- Breathe – long and deep. Count to five with a long breath in, and then counting to five with a long breath out. (if five is too long, then choose four or three, and work up to five as you continue to do this pose more).
- You have given yourself permission to relax, so I recommend that you stay here for as long as you can.
To Exit The Pose
- Bend your knees, have soles of the feet touching the wall. draw your knees in towards your belly.
- Breathe here and pause your movement. Notice how good you feel.
- Roll to one side and start to press up from there into Easy Seated Pose.
There are so many ways to do this relaxing pose. You can do this pose in bed, raising legs up to rest on a headboard. If you’re on the floor, you can use a chair to rest legs on.
Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose
- It’s so relaxing!
- You can learn meditative breathing.
- It has such a calming affect and can help with anxiety.
- Legs Up The Wall soothes swollen or cramped feet and legs.
- It stretches the hamstrings and lower back.
- You will relieves lower back tension.
- Legs Up The Wall can help with pelvic floor relaxation.
- It can help ease restless leg syndrome.
You can even add in a personal mantra, my favourite is, “I am perfect just as I am.“
The Carousel would like to thank yogini Trudy Vains for this article.
About Trudy Vains
Trudy Vains is an Author, Yoga Teacher, and Spine Fusion Warrior.
Trudy’s book “Fused” provides inspiration and reassurance to those facing spine surgery, as well as many examples of the importance of a positive mindset in overcoming challenges.