Yoga is known for its numerous health benefits to the human body. It promotes personal growth, health, and well-being.(1, 2) There are numerous yoga poses that back these benefits. One of them is legs up the wall pose also known as Viparita Karani.
There would hardly be anyone who would say that he has a completely stress free life. The stress of work, children, health, even the daily chores keeps people occupied. With stress, comes along various other health conditions. People with stress also complain about not being able to sleep properly.
Legs up to wall pose is a restorative form of yoga position that helps by relaxing the mind and body, relieving stress and tension.
How To Do Legs Up The Wall Yoga Pose?
- Sit down next to the wall with the hips touching the wall and knees bent. Slowly move your legs up the wall and lean onto your hands and forearms. Your body will now be in an L shape.
- Depending on the flexibility of the hamstrings your legs can be comfortably placed up the wall. For those with tighter hamstrings, the legs would be further away from the wall. To support the lower back you can also put a pillow underneath the lower pelvic area.
- Find a relaxing position so that it can be maintained for 5-10 minutes. Make sure the legs are relaxed.
- Let the arms relax on the sides with palm up, lengthen the neck, and relax your face. Close your eyes and relax the jaw. Let the tongue hang heavy in the mouth. Focus on breathing as it may deepen the calming effect.
- Stay in that position for 5 minutes in the beginning and later can extend for up to 10 minutes.
- Keep the legs relatively firm enough to hold them vertically in place.
- Slowly come out of the pose. Take your time to come out of it.
6 Benefits of Legs Up The Wall Yoga Pose
Relaxes the Body
The semi-supine posture of Legs up to wall pose, along with controlled breathing, helps in giving a relaxing effect to the body. There is a lowering of the heart rate which in turn lowers anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
In any pose of yoga, if the position of the heart is higher than the head, it is believed to stimulate the vagal nerve.(3) Leg up to the wall counts as an inversion pose. This pose also helps the brain to relax.
- The elevation of the legs promotes drainage of the excess fluid. The gravity controls circulation and there is a return of the blood back to the heart.
- Regular yoga practice improves the vagal tone, which in turn leads to parasympathetic dominance and enhances cardiac function, mood, and energy status.(2)
- This posture helps regulate the blood and lymphatic fluid flow.
Soothes Swollen and Cramped Foot and Legs
To reduce pain and swelling on legs and feet, a person is often advised to keep them raised. Leg up to wall pose can be therapeutic after physical activity and can reduce the detrimental effects of sitting and standing during the day.
Stretches Hamstrings and Lower Back
This pose reduces the curve of the lumbar spine and elongates and stretches the back muscles. Closer the hips are to the wall more the stretch effect is created in the hamstrings.
Relieves Tension In The Lower Back
Leg up to wall pose is capable of releasing pressure from the spine. This relieves back pain and mild strain.
Relaxes Pelvic Floor Muscles
- This exercise proves to naturally release and relax the tense pelvic floor muscles.
- Practicing an asana can be challenging and so can be managing to hold a balance. Performing quiet, restorative poses can help calm the body and mind and relieve stress and anxiety.
- Although the leg up to the wall is a safe asana for most individuals, pregnant females, those with glaucoma, high blood pressure, or any other serious problem should consult a doctor before starting it.