I learned this one from my mum. She is not into yoga but after a hot day of summer she would put her legs up the wall to ease her swollen ankles and feet at night.
As I child, I found this position funny so I used to lay next to her and copied the pose. It felt good! Nowadays I still need to put my legs up the wall, especially after stressful days at work wearing high heels and not getting much movement in the office.
I found out years later that putting your legs up the wall is a yoga position called viparita karani. It unloads the lower back, as well as tired legs. It also creates a deep sense of rest as a mind inversion which changes the natural flow of circulation. With the lower back supported, this pose allows you to open the hips while receiving many benefits.
This simple and fun way of throwing your legs up the wall also has many incredible health benefits, including:
- Encourages circulation of blood and lymph
- Improves digestion
- Alleviates menstrual cramps
- Soothes the heart by slowing the heart rate
- Calms the nervous system
- Quietens the mind
So next time, after a long day, try it! Put your phone away and stay in Viparita Karani for 5 to 20 minutes. Make sure to have your lower back as close to the wall as possible to create a 90 degrees angle with your body. While at it, let your mind wander or close your eyes. Thank me later. 😉