Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose)

This is a lovely pose for a couple of reasons.  First, it is easy to get into.  All you need is a wall you can stretch your legs up.  Also, it is a nice way to revitalize legs that are tired whether you’ve been through an exercise class or done a lot of walking or have stood still for a long period of time.

Sit facing a clear wall.  Try to get your buttocks as close to the wall as possible.  Swing your legs up the wall and lay flat on your back.  The first time I did this pose my buttocks were not touching the wall.  Now my hamstrings and hips have loosened up so I can now get to the wall.  If you are away from the wall and have a foam block handy, place the foam block between you and the wall so you have something to press into.  Legs are straight up the wall, your sacrum is flat on the ground, and your feet are bent at the ankle as if you are standing.  Arms are relaxed at your side with palms up.  If you head is uncomfortable, you can use a towel (single fold so not too high) under your head for a cushion.  Now, just relax.  That can be a challenge especially if some muscles are complaining.  Try to hold this for 1-2 minutes.  You can cross your legs (remember to alternate cross) for some variation.

When this pose becomes comfortable, you can then use a bolster, folded blanket, or foam blocks under your upper pelvis.  Ideally you should have the feeling your hips are gently cascading over the support.  Shoulder blades are still on the floor.  This will give more space for your heart and lungs.  You may have to play with the position of the support but once you find it, it is very comfortable.  

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