Let’s face it, sometimes it`s difficult to find time for a good stretching session. This can be especially difficult for those of us who are active, as the amount of strain placed on our bodies can leave us with very little energy for post-workout stretches. But, did you know that one of the oldest stretching poses out there, called “Legs Up the Wall” can provide a whole host of health benefits – no matter your fitness level?
The Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose
Legs Up the Wall pose is known in yogic practice as Viparita Karani and combines elements of an inversion, resting pose, and passive stretch all into one blissful movement. With benefits that include increased circulation of both blood and lymph fluid to the heart, reduction of stress and fatigue, and relief from tension in the back and pelvic area, this calming posture can be used as a way to restore balance to a fitness routine.
How to Do Legs Up the Wall Pose
To perform Viparita Karani, start by lying on the floor near a wall. Have your shoulders come to rest just past the edge of the wall, and begin to swing your legs up the wall so that your hips are resting against the baseboard. As your legs make contact, you should feel your body naturally soften into the supportive surface as a feeling of stillness and relaxation takes over.
From here, if you need support or to make the pose more comfortable, prop yourself up with the use of one or two pillows placed under your torso. Allow your arms to relax by your sides, and try not to tense any of the muscles throughout your body. Eventually, as your body becomes more accustomed, you may be able to keep your back flat on the ground while performing the pose.
When you first start practicing, try to hold the pose for at least five minutes and build up to 10 minutes or more. Afterwards, you may want to come out of the pose by grounding your feet on the floor and gently rolling to one side before pushing yourself off the ground.
Incorporating Legs Up the Wall into Your Routine
Since Legs Up the Wall is a passive pose, it is best used after a yoga or workout routine, when your body has already been activated. This can also be a great pose to do for a few minutes prior to bedtime in order to reduce stress and calm the body.
Ultimately, Legs Up the Wall pose offers a wide range of benefits to all levels of fitness, making it a great pose to incorporate into your training or home practice. Just try to set aside five minutes out of your day to do the pose and youâ€™ll be surprised at the soothing effects it can have on your body and mind!