This is the one pose that I teach to students and non-students alike. Whether people complain to me of aches and pains, fatigue or just a general feeling of yeuchness, I say, “just pop your legs up the wall, and you’ll be grand!” Legs up the wall pose is a wonderful resting position and the only inverted position that can be safely taught to beginners. It is usually practiced at the end of a yoga class to allow the body to cool down and recuperate. Because the legs are redundant, the heart does not have to pump blood to the lower body, thus giving this hard-working organ a well-deserved rest which revitalizes the whole system.

I also call this pose ‘rescue remedy for the legs’ as the upright position of the legs allows lactic acid to drain out of them – very useful if you have been on your feet all day. For the same reason, it is also helpful for fluid retention in the legs and varicose veins.

However, the main reason I love this pose is because it is the one posture you can practice when you are too whacked to do any other yoga. If, for example, you’ve been up all night with a sick child or if you’re recovering from the flu’ and your body is yelling, “please, no yoga today!” – you can always put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes and you will feel grounded, rested and revitalized within moments. And you don’t even need a prescription for it!

To practice Legs up the wall pose:

  • Sit on your mat beside a wall with one hip in contact with the wall.
  • Bend your knees and swivel around on your buttocks until you can place your legs up the wall, perpendicular to your trunk. (If you find it too difficult to put your legs up the wall, you could place them on the seat of a chair instead.)
  • The legs should be straight, but relaxed. Relax your arms on the floor beside you.
  • Stay for as long as you like. However, come out of the pose, immediately, if you start to see signs of gangrene. (Only joking!)

NEED HELP?

If you find it difficult to get your legs up the wall, lie down in front of a chair and place your feet on that instead.

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