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How to Do Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

When we talk about yoga inversions, you may immediately think of postures like Handstand and Headstand, but there are many gentler poses also qualify, including Legs Up the Wall, one of yoga’s best-loved restorative poses. This posture is a wonderful way to rest your legs after a yoga practice session or a long day and can help relax your body for sleep at night.

Legs Up the wall Basics

Sanskrit Meaning: Viparita (Inverted) Karani (To Do), so, doing an inversion.

Yoga Level: Beginner

Pose Type: Inversion, Supine

Benefits: Improved circulation and lymphatic drainage, calming and relaxing, refreshes tired legs and feet, stretches the backs of the legs.

Props: Viparita Karani requires a wall, of course, and many people also like to place a bolster, yoga block, or several folded blankets under their pelvises for a little extra elevation and support.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Set up your yoga mat with the short end at a wall. If you are using a bolster or blanket, place it longwise against the wall.
  1. The best way to get your butt really close to the wall is to roll into the posture. Come to sit sideways at the wall-end of your mat with your knees bent and your hip and shoulder touching the wall. If you are using a prop, sit on it.
  1. Roll onto your back, swinging your legs up the wall with the soles of your feet facing the ceiling.
  1. If your butt isn’t right up again the wall, adjust yourself by bringing the soles of your feet to the wall and pressing into them to lift your butt and lower back away from the floor. Use your forearms to scoot your body closer to the wall.
  1. Once you are situated, close your eyes and plan to spend at least several minutes in this position. You can take your Savasana with your legs up the wall if you like.
  1. To come out, bend your knees and roll over onto one side.

Tips for Beginners

There isn’t much that can go wrong here because if you put your legs up the wall, you’re doing it right. Play around with different props until you find a position that feels really supportive and good.

Variations

Try taking your legs in different positions, like a wide angle, Baddha Konasana, or Lotus.

Take a Break

Legs Up the Wall is all about resting and rejuvenating. It feels great after a yoga practice in which you’ve done a lot of standing poses, but you don’t have to wait for yoga time to practice this posture.

Do it after a long day at work, on your bed before turning out the light, or any time your hard-working feet and legs need a break.

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