VIPARITA KARANI – Legs up the wall

This is one of my cheekily most requested poses. I say ‘cheekily’ because it’s a pose where you really don’t have to do very much at all. But the awesome thing about it is that it is packed with benefits.

Here’s what it does for you:

  • Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
  • Relieves mild backache
  • Calms the mind
  • Reduces instance of cellulite & varicose veins

Here’s how to do it:

  1. First of all decide if you are going to use any support for this pose e.g. a bolster or folded blanket. If you are a little bit stiffer, use a low support farther from the wall; if you are more flexible, use a higher support that is closer to the wall. Experiment with the position of your support until you find the placement that works for you.
  2. Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side against the wall. As you exhale with one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto the floor. The first few times you do this, you might feel a little uncoordinated and might even fall off your support. Don’t worry it happens to everybody.
  3. Keep your legs somewhat firm, just enough to hold them vertically in place. Release the heads of the thigh bones and the weight of your belly deeply into your torso, toward the back of the pelvis. Soften your eyes and allow your torso to soften and relax against the support & floor beneath you
  4. You can stay here anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes. To come out simply bend your knees in towards your chest. Then slowly roll to your right and use your hands to help bring you up to sitting.

Here’s how to keep it safe:

  • Because Viparita Karani an inversion it should be avoided if you have serious eye problems, such asglaucoma.
  • People with serious neck or back problems only perform this pose with the supervision of an experienced teacher.
  • If your feet begin to tingle during this pose, bend your knees, touch your soles together, and slide the outer edges of your feet down the wall, bringing your heels close to your pelvis.
  • During pregnancy this pose should be performed on a lower support situated further away from the wall, 6 – 8 inches.

Categories: Practise