Legs-Up-The-Wall is called “A Royal Pose” because of it’s holistic benefits and immediate relaxation to the cardiovascular system. It is a variation of Sarvangasana. This is a heart-relaxer and not a hamstring stretch. Restorative poses, if done correctly, are safe and comfortable.
relief from fatigue, low energy, illness, jet lag and stress
calming and internalizing, preparing the body and mind for meditation
reduces swelling in feet, ankles and legs, draining venous blood and lymphatic fluids; prevents and relieves varicose veins
Revives feet, legs and back
Reduces systemic stress and can lower blood pressure
Refreshes the heart and lungs
It may be helpful to have someone read this to you or Google this pose for a better visual.
To set up, have two blankets, a blanket and a pillow, two pillows, a wall, bed, chair or couch, friend or pet to support the legs, or go freestyle – COMFORT is the name of the game.
Bring your hips about twelve inches from the wall. Place a blanket (or pillow) under the hips to support the natural curve in the lumbar (lower) spine. The sacrum – the fused part of the pelvis above the tailbone – teeter-totters off the folded edge of the blanket nearest the wall. The tailbone comes off of the edge to create the natural sway in the low spine that is most comfortable for your body. The buttocks do not necessarily have to meet the floor.
Gently elevate your legs. Avoid turning the head from this point on.
Support the neck with a pillow or blanket roll under the neck only. The skull should be resting flat on the floor, not stretching at the back or the front of the neck. The neck is neutral and comfortable.
Bend, rock, straighten, separate the your knees as is most comfortable and relaxing. Place your heels against the wall and release all effort. Distance of the hips from the wall will dictate leg comfort once elevated.
Use an eye pillow or close the eyes to calm the mind. Arms rotate open, palms up or hands can rest on the belly or gesture any appropriate mudra, such as tucking the thumbs toward the palms and curling the four fingers of each hand into a gentle fist, adhi mudra.
BREATHE. Start with one deep exhalation. Breathe out until there is no breath left. Relax the weight of the heart muscle as you exhale, back toward the spine and up toward the throat. Observe the stillness at the end of the out breath, before the following out breath. This is the moment of your deepest physiological relaxation. Return to that felt sense with your next breaths.
Hold up to ten minutes.
To exit, roll to your right side and rest there. Do not press up right away to avoid a head rush or a headache. Rest on your side, supporting your neck and shoulder and head for a few breaths.
Enjoy the effects.
Yoga poses should always be practiced mindfully and with caution. Check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.
Legs-Up-The-Wall is an inversion, meaning your head is below your heart or part of your spine is upside down.
Please refrain from practicing this pose or modify it for your safety if any of the following apply to you
eye pressure issues
heart problems – mild hypertension controlled by medication can practice
menstruating (avoid bringing hips above abdomen)
spinal injuries (some may condraindicate)
more than three months pregnant (avoid inverting hips and lying on back for long periods of time)
sinus infection or congestion (creates pressure in the head)
Practice at your own risk! Brooke West Yoga assumes no responsibility for practitioners who choose to elevate their legs in this pose.
Be safe, be well.