Monday, May 17, 2010

Legs Up the Wall

I'll admit it. I find yoga a little intimidating.  From the first time I tried it I struggled with coordinating the breath with the movements.  Being of a moderately competitive nature, I would push through a pose to match my neighbors' super pretzel flexibility only to feel like a rubber band ready to snap. Recently, I began practicing yoga more regularly.  I've put aside my competitiveness and have focused on moving through my own range of motion.  The breath has also started to come more naturally.  Like any learning process, it takes time, dedication and discipline, but I've found the benefits are definitely worth it.

One of my favorite poses is called Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani in Sanskrit). It's known as yoga's great rejuvenator and is an inversion pose (or asana in Sanskrit). Inversion poses are great for promoting blood flow to the brain.  I find it very relaxing and refreshing.  

Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose:
Physical: Helps venous return, releases lower back and sacrum
Emotional: Quiets and clears the mind, calming
Rx for: Tired legs and feet, vein trouble, lower back discomfort

How to Practice Legs Up the Wall Pose:
1. Sit with knees bent, left side of body against a wall.
2. Place palms next to each hip.
3. Turn hips to the left and swing legs up the wall while lowering torso and head until they are flat on the floor, perpendicular to the wall, legs extended straight up and against the wall. Rest palms on belly.
4. Stretch arms out to left and right, palms up.
5. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
6. Place palms on belly, bend knees and lower legs to the right, roll to the right, press into ground with left hand and return to sitting.

Check out this website: for a great illustration and discussion of the Legs Up the Wall pose.  Enjoy.

Caution: As with any movement or exercise be careful not to push beyond your limits.  If you are injured or suffer from pain of unknown or undiagnosed origin, consult your physician before attempting the following movements.

image from 

No comments:

Post a Comment