Legs Up the Wall
Do you need some rejuvenation in the body? Legs up the wall or Viparita Karani (vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee) might be exactly what your body is craving. It’s great for calming the nervous system. I love this pose right before I go to bed or anytime I need to stretch out the hamstrings. It is said by many that this pose may cure whatever ails you. It helps to relieve tired or cramped legs and feet. It stretches the back of the legs, front torso and back of the neck. It also is extremely calming for the mind.
To get into this pose, scoot your hip up against the wall as you sit sideways. You can also slide a bolster underneath your seat before coming up against the wall. Swing your legs so they land against the wall and your shoulders and head land on the floor. Try to get your butt to the baseboard as much as possible. If you are tighter in the hamstrings, the legs can pull away from the wall or you can keep a bend in your knees. Let your hands fall off to the side with your palms up. Rest in this pose anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes.
To get out of the pose, slide off the support or away from the wall before turning to the side. You can also bend your knees and push your feet against the wall to lift your pelvis off the support. Then move the bolster to one side, lower your pelvis to the floor and turn to the side. Stay on your side for a few breaths then slowly come up to a seated position.
This pose is great for anxiety, arthritis, digestive problems, headaches, high and low blood pressure, insomnia, migraines, mild depression, respiratory ailments, urinary disorders, varicose veins, menstrual cramps, PMS, and menopause. Be careful if you have any eye problems such as glaucoma. Some say it is okay to practice an inversion during menstruation others disagree. Listen to your body and do what is best for you.