If you’ve been wishing to relax, de-stress, and rebalance your body, this ‘do nothing’ pose is the one you need.
We are wired to believe that positive outcomes come from doing more. But when it comes to releasing your body’s built-up tension, improving circulation, and de-stressing, doing less can go a long way.
Viparita Karani is a yoga pose that’s often referred to as the ‘legs-up-the-wall’ pose. Refreshingly, it requires none of the bendy flexibility or core strength many yoga poses demand.
You perform this pose literally by putting your legs up on the wall while you lie flat on the floor facing up. It’s an accessible pose that requires nothing of you other than relaxing and breathing.
Surprisingly, this ‘do-nothing’ pose is good for your heart, blood circulation, and stress. It’s full of health benefits you need to de-compress on a daily basis.
According to Robert Saper, MD, MPH, this active inversion exercise helps improve circulation and releases tension. All without risking your neck or spine unlike other inverted exercises like the headstand.
But to reap the benefits to the full extent, you need to know how to properly perform this inverted pose.
Learn the right way to perform the legs-up-the-wall pose to get started.
How to perform the legs-up-the-wall pose
- Find an open area with a flat wall. Place a yoga mat in front of the wall. If you would like, you can also use a short, thin pillow to put under your head.
- Lie down on the yoga mat with your legs up the wall and glutes close to the wall, about a few inches away. Keep your tailbone on the mat Your tailbone should remain on the floor. Your head should be on the mat or pillow and relax your neck. Keep your back touching the mat.
- As you maintain this inverted pose, you should feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings. Flex your feet, so your feet are perpendicular to the wall. Hold the position for 20 seconds to 2 minutes and take deep breaths holding the pose.
- Once you are done, relax and take your legs off the wall. Carefully come into a seated position after the inverted pose. Relax there for a minute or two.
Who Should Avoid the Legs-Up-The-Wall
Like any exercise and yoga pose, this simplistic pose also comes with some risks.
If you’ve been struggling with heart disease, breathing issues, kidney failures, and uncontrolled high blood pressure, this is not for you.
Be sure to consult your doctor and physical therapist before starting a new workout and exercise.