There is so much evidence-based information on the overwhelming benefits of yoga. From decreasing stress, to relieving anxiety, to reducing inflammation, to increasing health, to fighting depression, to reducing stress, the benefits are endless. I have been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and still, one of my favorite poses is Legs Up the Wall. This posture is one of the most nourishing, grounding and calming poses I can think of, and I have turned to it many times in my own life when I was feeling overwhelmed, tired, or stressed.
This posture is really intended to be a very deeply relaxing pose, so hold it for a few minutes and combine it with rhythmic breathing. Doing so brings us away from reactions of fight or flight and helps us tap into "rest and digest" of the nervous response. In my Self-care/Self-love Reset, we talk a lot about cultivating quiet in the mind. This pose can do just that when practiced silently for a period of time. By fully releasing and relaxing our bodies and by focusing on deep breathing, will evoke a meditative state, all while we are fully resting and surrendering. I LOVE IT!
Those with glaucoma or other eye problems, or a serious back or neck injury, should avoid this pose. Please remember: Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. Poses shall be stable and comfortable.
1. Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall.
2. Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall.
3. Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.
4. Shift your weight from side-to-side and scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as you can. It’s not necessary for your sit bones to touch the wall. However, you should be in a position where you can release the need to “hold up” your thigh bones. For greater support under your neck, place a small, rolled towel beneath the back of your neck so you feel your head aligning with your spine, making it more comfortable.
5. Externally rotate the heads of your thigh bones (the part of the bone that connects in the hip socket), release, and relax.
6. Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up. If you find that your mind is racing, place a blanket on to your belly and place your hands on your belly face down.
7. Close your eyes. Breathe consciously throughout the pose. Continually bringing your awareness back to your breath will help relax your mind and body even further, preparing your body for a deep, renewing state of health and well-being.
8. Just be for 11 minutes or more.