[Pose Of the Week] The Many Benefits of Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Beginner)
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose is a relaxing and restorative beginner yoga pose that is great to do before bed!
This pose is so simple that some people don’t even think of it as a yoga pose, but in fact it is one of the most popular poses for beginners as well as therapeutic yoga practices. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) helps the mind and body to relax, relieves stress and tension, and promotes restful sleep. It’s a great pose for those of any fitness level as it is a passive pose that does not require much in the way of either flexibility or strength. Despite how easy it is, this pose has a surprisingly long list of benefits!
According to DoYouYoga.com, Legs Up the Wall pose not only stimulates the relaxation response, lowering anxiety and stress, but it also increases circulation, relieves swelling in the legs and feet from prolonged periods of sitting or standing, stretches the hamstrings and the lower back, relieves lower back pain and tension, and helps to release and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Some studies have also shown this pose to be beneficial for those with fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, metabolic syndrome, varicose veins, or women going through menopause.
Here are basic instructions for performing this simple pose:
- Start close to a wall or other vertical support – either on a yoga mat, or in bed if your bed has a headboard or is next to a wall.
- Scoot your hips as close to the wall as you can, then walk your feet up the wall until they are extended, and you are lying on your back with your body in an L-shaped position.
- Adjust as needed until you are relaxed and comfortable. Rest your head on a pillow if desired, and let your arms lie wherever feels good to you.
- Focus on your breath, practicing long, deep breathing – inhaling and exhaling slowly through the nose. Remain here for at least 5 minutes, then walk your feet back down the wall and slowly roll out of the pose. Relax in Savasana for a few minutes more if desired.
This relaxing pose is great to do just before bed – especially if you have trouble falling asleep at night!