There are countless benefits touted with practicing Legs Up the Wall pose such as improved digestion and thyroid function, relief for lower back tension, migraines, insomnia, varicose veins, menstrual cramps, anxiety, edema and more. However, avoid this pose if you have glaucoma or serious neck and back issues.
Getting into the Pose:
Start by sitting on the floor with the right hip flush against the wall. Raise the right leg up the wall allowing the left leg to follow as you lie down with your back on the floor. Bring the sit bones as close to the wall as possible so the body is at a 90° angle against the wall with the back on the floor and the legs straight up the wall. Close the eyes and allow the arms to rest on the ground parted a few inches away from the sides of the torso. Turn the palms up towards the ceiling. Relax in this posture for up to 5 minutes. Beginners may want to stay in the pose for a shorter time.
Keep in mind that Legs Up the Wall is a restorative pose. Therefore, you want to be able to relax in this posture. If you find it uncomfortable to rest with your legs up the wall, try these modifications:
1) Move the hips further away from the wall instead of having the body at a 90° angle.
2) Place a bolster (a firm supportive cushion) under the hips. If you don’t have a bolster, you can substitute a rolled up yoga mat or several blankets as a prop.
3) Use a folded blanket to elevate the head, if it doesn’t comfortably rest on the floor. Try positioning the folded blanket just under the back of the shoulders to provide additional support for the head and neck.
Coming Out of the Pose, Safely:
Place the soles of the feet on the wall. Lower the bent knees toward the chest. Then, with the knees still bent, roll on to the left side. Rest in this fetal position for a few breaths before slowly pressing back up in to a seated position on the floor.
For Deeper Relaxation:
Place an eye pillow on the eyes and/or one on each hand. Just observe the breath moving through the body. There’s no need to alter the breath, just simply be a witness to the chest and abdomen inflating and deflating with each inhalation and exhalation.
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