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When You Put Down Your Bags, Put Your Legs Up The Wall

If you’re not traveling this holiday season, then you may be hosting people at your home. Once you put down your bags, we want to encourage you to take care of yourself in a very real way by putting up your legs against a wall in perhaps the easiest Restorative Yoga pose we can offer (other than classic savasana). 

If that advice isn’t enough, we present to you some compelling benefits: 

Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose:

  • Regulates blood flow
  • Assists and stimulates lymphatic system flow
  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Relieves edema (swollen ankles) and pressure in varicose veins
  • Helps testicular, semen, and ovarian problems in men and women respectively
  • Improves digestion
  • Restores tired feet or legs
  • Stretches the back of the neck, front torso, and back of the legs
  • Improves problems of the eyes and ears
  • Relieves mild backache
  • Provides migraine and headache relief, especially when done with a bandage wrapped tightly around the forehead and back of the skull
  • Helps keep you young and vital
  • Calms anxiety
  • Relieves symptoms of mild depression and insomnia
  • Just feels good

Here’s what you’ll need (not much, really if you’re in a pinch) and how to do it: 

Yoga mat

Rolled small towel (for behind the head if desired)

Small towel or lavender eye bag to cover the eyes

Timer 

Here’s how to do it: 

Place your rolled small towel about 3’ away from the wall so that when you lie on your back, you will be able to use it under your neck if desired. 

Place the other small towel or lavender eye bag on the other side 

Set your time for at least 7 minutes (one minute for set up and settling in). After a minute or so of breathing calmly while seated next to or against a wall, turn your body so that one side of your body is about 3” away from the wall (the closer the better, ideally). 

Draw your knees into your chest and pivot your body so that your shins and front body (with the knees still bent toward your chest) are now facing the wall. 

Scoot as close as you can to the wall so that your sitting bones are facing the wall (your knees are still in toward your chest). 

Take a deep breath in and let the air fill your lungs. 

As you exhale, swing your legs up onto the wall so that your heels are against the wall. If you have discomfort in your lower back, you can move your hips slightly away from the wall until you feel more comfortable.   

Rest your head on the floor or on a low-profile blanket and keep your spine straight.

Let your knees be slightly bent so the kneecaps don’t lock. 

Cover your eyes with your lavender bag or the other small towel. Keep your eyes closed. 

Rest your arms out to your sides, with wrists and hands relaxed.

To come out: drop your knees to your chest and roll to one side for about a minute. As you rise, take a deep breath in and then sit for a moment and then as you slowly rise to stand, take another deep breath in.