Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

Definition - What does Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose mean?

Legs-up-the-wall pose is a mild, restorative yoga inversion. It can be practiced on its own as an everyday restorative pose, or it can be used at the end of a yoga practice for its calming benefits and as a preparation for the final relaxation of meditation or corpse pose (savasana).

To enter this pose, the practitioner must sit in proximity to a wall. The knees are bent to the chest and the lower back comes down to the floor, while the legs are straightened against the wall. Then the rest of the back and the head are lowered to the floor, and the body is adjusted so the sit bones press against the wall.

Legs-up-the-wall pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, viparita karani.

Yogapedia explains Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

Legs-up-the-wall pose provides a number of benefits for the body and mind. Ancient yoga texts state that this pose will destroy old age and offer anti-aging effects. Modern teachers agree that the pose has many benefits, including relief from:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Mild depression
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive issues
  • Swollen feet and legs
  • Eye and ear problems
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Urinary disorders
  • PMS and menstrual cramps
  • Menopause
  • High and low blood pressure

This pose also stretches the back of the legs to relieve cramping and swelling in the ankles, calves and feet.

For an additional neck support while practicing this pose, it is recommended to place a towel beneath the neck. The lower back can be supported by a pillow or bolster. Sometimes, a yoga strap is used as an extra support for the thighs. Wrapping the strap around the thighs helps keep the legs in place, allowing them to relax more easily.

As with any inversion, this pose should be avoided by people with serious eye problems, such as glaucoma.

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