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Cutting Stress by Climbing a Wall

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— November 15, 2017

Cutting Stress by Climbing a Wall

  • Ever wondered what putting your legs up a wall can do for you physically and mentally?
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Pose: Legs Up the Wall
(Viparita Karani)

Why You Should Do It: It’s pure chill, for starters. But there are other reasons, too; some of the claimed benefits include:
» Easing anxiety and headaches.
» Promoting better sleep and greater energy.
» Encouraging fluid to flow from the legs into the lower abdomen, strengthening the digestive and reproductive systems.
» Improving respiratory function.
» Learning to simply be instead of always being active.

How to Do It: The name pretty much explains the pose and once you’re up, just relax and enjoy. But the trick is getting there:
» Sit with either shoulder against the wall, knees bent and heels close to your buttocks.
» Lean back on your hands, turn your body and swing your legs up the wall as you lower onto your elbows.
» Lie back with your head and shoulders on the mat; scoot forward if you need closer contact with the wall but without a sensation of your pelvis feeling tucked under. Adjust as necessary.
» Let your arms rest at your sides, palms facing upward.
» Close your eyes and tune into your breath for five to ten minutes.
Note: This pose can be done with a prop, such as a folded blanket or a bolster, under the hips. Having someone place a small sandbag on the soles of your feet may help deepen the sense of relaxation and grounding.

Variations: You can spread your legs into a wide V. Or bring the soles of your feet together and slide them down, outer edges against the wall, with your knees out wide.

Be Careful If: You have a serious back or neck injury, a hernia or glaucoma; some teachers advise against doing Legs Up the Wall during menstruation.

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