L Stand Pose
March 29, 2015
Lion Pose
March 29, 2015

Legs Up the Wall Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Viparita Karani
(vee-par-ee-tah kah-rah-nee)
viparita = inverted
karani = action

BENEFITS

  • Passively stretches the hip extensors
  • Opens the chest
  • Relieves tension in the low back
  • Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Limited hamstring flexibility
  • Limited hip range of motion
  • Low back pathologies (avoid rounding)

HOW TO

  1. Gently come onto your back in front of an open wall space.
  2. Inhale and lift your legs, placing your calves against the wall and flexing your feet toward the ceiling. Support you head on a blanket or small pillow.
  3. Exhale and readjust to bring the tailbone as close to the wall as possible. Rest your head and back on the ground, so your body forms a 90-degree angle.
  4. Feel free to keep the legs extended, or cross them into Lotus pose on your next inhalation.
  5. Exhale and allow the arms to fall alongside the body with palms facing up. Close your eyes.
  6. Stay in Legs Up the Wall pose for several minutes. To exit, roll onto your right side and rest in the fetal position before rising.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Utilize a block against the wall, along with a bolster near the wall, to stabilize the pelvis and keep the body from sliding.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Allow your legs to rest gently on the wall and relax.
  • Keep the sacrum grounded into your mat or block.
  • Allow your eyes to close and feel your body begin to relax with the breath.
  • On each inhale, feel your body sinking into the mat and the low spine becoming spacious.

VARIATIONS

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Low back pain