Legs up the Wall pose or also known as Viparita karani is one of the simplest poses that anyone can perform at the comfort of their homes. This pose has become very popular among dancers, runners and athletes due to its ability to soothe tightness and pain as well as to reduce anxiety and calm the mind. If you are under a lot of stress, this is the best thing to do at the end of a difficult working day and relax.
Viparita Karani Variations
This pose can be done in several ways. The pose you will choose will depend on your abilities.
Legs Straight up the Wall Version
Lie on the back , raise your legs straight up and go as close to the wall as possible, with your bum against the wall. You can use a pillow under your bum, especially if you are pregnant. The soles of the feet should be facing upward toward the ceiling and you should place your arms beside you for balance.The amount of stiffness in the hips determines how close to the wall your legs are.
Legs in a Wide “V” Version
If you want a bigger stretch, do the same as explained above, but insead of keeping the feet hip distance apart, spread the legs into a wide V formation. This position will make you feel more stretched.
Soles Together Version
Turn the knees outward and put the soles of the feet together, with the legs pressed against the wall. It is quite an intense stretch which allows you to experience the deepest groin stretch from the pose.
This version requires greater balance and mobility. You don’t have to try this if you think it’s too challenging for you.
Benefits of Viparita Karani
- Increases Blood Flow and Decreases Inflammation
If you do this pose after a whole day of sitting or standing, it will definitely increase your blood flow and circulation more than it would usually do. It also reduces swelling of the ankles, calves and feet.
- Improves Hamstring Mobility and Reduces Lower Back Pain
This pose stretches out the hamstrings, which are often shortened as a result of sitting at a desk all day. This results in lower back pain. This pose will relieve the pressure on the lower back, soothe pain, and improve hamstring mobility.
- Stimulates Relaxation and Relieves stress
As it increases blood flow and calms down pain this pose also acts as an amazing relaxing activity. The nervous system is stimulated thus bringing you in a more relaxed state. In addition it helps you fall asleep better and have a greater quality of sleep.