Viparita Karani or Legs up the Wall was the absolute favorite pose of my dear, departed friend, R. Try it and you will see why. The first time I was directed to come into this pose was over a dozen years ago, on my bedroom wall, as you walk in, and I will never forget it. It reduces tension from your head, neck and shoulders, it helps reduce your insomnia, relieves your tired legs and feet and can lower your blood pressure. Before Martha was sold on and started selling her upside down table, there was Viparita Karani.
Basically, you sit sideways from a wall on a folded blanket placed about 3 inches away from the wall. Extend your legs, lower your upper body to the floor as you swing your legs up onto the wall. The blanket cushions your hips. Allow your shoulders to rest on the floor. If your legs feel tight, sit farther away from the wall, if you are flexible, come as close as possible to the wall.
Place your arms at your sides, away from your body, palms facing up. Relax your arms and shoulders. Bring the legs together so they are side by side, soles to the ceiling. You can bend your knees and place another folded blanket or two on top of your soles and then come back to position by yourself or have someone place blankets or even books on your feet. This adds to your sense of repose.
You can split your legs, widening your pose to give yourself an inner thigh stretch or even place soles of feet together for Bound Angle on the wall. If you want you can even bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat on the wall. Play with it or stay in one position and hold the pose for at least 5 minutes and up to 15.
We are on our feet or buttocks all day and this pose raises the level of your feet, above your head so your heart has less work to do to pump blood to your overall body. After a day of walking around in heels, chasing after children or hiking, this is a great yoga pose before or after your bedtime ritual. Draw yourself a warm bath, add some lavender essential oil drops and go beddie bye after.
Completely AVOID this posture if you have low back problems, neck issues, low blood pressure or are menstruating!!!