Viparita Karani, that's all I have to say. Legs up the wall, in bed, voila. You are in bed, with yourself, loving your nervous system, allowing it a place to rest, experiencing pleasure. That's my hope anyway. Traditionally practiced on the floor at the wall, I have taken the pose to a new location that works for me, my bed.
Legs up the wall is well known for its relaxing effects, as its often offered at the end of a yoga class as an alternative to savasana, the final relaxation shape, and more commonly woven into the sequencing of restorative and therapeutic styles of classes. It is safe to practice unless you do not feel comfortable laying on your back. You should avoid this yoga pose if you are pregnant and you have discomfort lying down flat, if you have glaucoma or any reason why you should not lay down and elevate your legs. If you are unable to move around without assistance, this pose should be avoided. Please listen to how your body responds as you experience the pose, be loving and mindful, never force your body to do any yoga pose that doesn’t feel good. Intuit your way through, we all have a gut feeling available to us if we allow.
The simplest way to arrive in the pose is to lay on your side, on the floor at the wall, or on your bed at the headboard end. Slowly begin to roll onto your back from your side and extend your legs up the wall, or headboard. Make sure that your tailbone is touching the floor. If its lifted off the earth scoot your body away from the wall until your tailbone can relax comfortably.
Soften your chin toward your chest to extend the back of your neck.
Once you arrive in the reclined pose, relax your mouth and jaw, let your body melt into the pull of gravity. Begin to breathe into your body and down to your belly on inhalation and relax the bellybutton to the spine for exhalation. Feel the gentle, rhythmic pulse of your breath, moving into your body and escaping your body. Let your bellybutton move like a pump, rising and falling, to stimulate the movement of lymph.
Stay in the pose for 5-10 minutes and roll to your side, support your head. Remain on your side for 5-10min longer as you transition to being upright.
Recognize how your body feels after the pose, and respond to support what your body is asking for as best as you can. Ask it is its thirsty or hungry? Feed and hydrate yourself if necessary. If you are tired, lay down, if you can not, make a deal with your body that you WILL lay downs soon s you complete the priority task. Feeling creative, soot your need to make something. Feel the emotional layers of yourself and honor what your body requires to feel whole. Let go, surrender and release it all, even if you need to cry.
Look to the pose as a dear friend, here to support you as you walk along your path, use her in moments where a moment of calm is desired.
Why is this pose beneficial?
REST + DIGEST- You let your body lay down, pause, and feel the natural effects of gravity on your human form in a new way.
MORE BLOOD FLOW = MORE OXYGEN in the BRAIN + BELLY-Circulation to the nervous system increases as blood pools in the head and torso while it drains out of the legs.
CALM + CLEAR- Feelings of safety once the body relaxes, mood softened.
DETOXIFY + CLEANSE- Lymph drainage and movement through your system
SERENITY + HARMONY- Practiced overtime in a consistent rhythm, this pose may lead to relaxed sensations that may possibly lead to an easier time falling asleep and/or staying asleep.