Do you sit, drive or stand for extended periods of time? Do you feel stiffness and tension in your back, hips, and hamstrings? Do you feel stressed or experience brain fog or insomnia?
Satisfy your mind and body with a daily dose of restorative yoga.
Try Legs-Up-The-Wall sequence. It has a plethora of benefits.
Whether you’re seeking relief from stress, anxiety, insomnia, or tension in your hips, hamstrings, and back, or you simply want to unwind from a busy day, Legs-Up-The-Wall pose elicits the relaxation response, encourages your muscles to release, and helps your mind shift into a state of peace and calm.
Most of us live busy lifestyles and it can be hard to slow down and allow ourselves time to rest. But, making time to rest can make a big difference in how we feel physically and mentally, and how we respond to stress. Rest and relaxation are essential for optimal function and performance, mental clarity, and creativity. And ultimately, overall health and well-being.
That’s why I love Legs-Up-The-Wall pose. It’s one of my go-to poses to re-energize mid-day when brain fog kicks in and to ease tension in my back and hips when I’ve been sitting in front of the computer all day. I often do it before bed or in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.
The truth is, each of us can benefit from a daily dose of restorative yoga.
What are the benefits?
1) promotes physical and mental relaxation and regulates blood pressure
2) reduces swelling in the feet, ankles, legs
3) improves circulation, digestion, headaches
4) stretches hamstrings and eases tension in the hips, back, and shoulders
5) Calms the nervous system and enhances mental clarity
When should you do it?
Try it before bed with your legs up the headboard to help with insomnia, in the middle of the day or at the end of a stressful day to unwind, recharge, and clear your mind, or after a strenuous workout, bike ride, or run to aid in recovery.
Give your mind and body permission to rest and reap the benefits of stillness, silence, and mindful breathing. Even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. You don’t have to go to a yoga class. All you need is a wall and the willingness to slow down and pay attention to your breath. You are worth it. Your health is worth it.
To get into the pose: sit parallel to the wall with your knees bent. Lie on your side then roll onto your back as you sweep your legs up the wall so you’re in an L shaped position. Scoot your hips toward the wall approximately 2-3 inches depending on your flexibility. Rest your arms on the floor with your palms facing up. Relax your your upper body. Gently close your lips and soften your face.
To get out of the pose: slowly roll onto your side with your knees bent. Take your time moving into and out of the pose.
Once you settle into the pose, practice mindful breathing. Let your attention rest on the natural rhythm of your breath as it flows in and out through your nose. Listen to the sound of your breath. Feel the sensations of your breath as it moves in and out of your body. If your mind is distracted, try silently repeating the words, “breathe in, breathe out”. Or, repeat your favorite mantra.
I recommend staying in the pose for 5-10 minutes or longer. Yet, you’ll benefit from only hanging out for a few minutes.
The second and third photos are variations to release the pelvic floor and inner thighs, hamstrings, and hips.
If your hamstrings, hips, and back are extremely tight, try scooting your hips further away from the wall, and placing a blanket or folded towel beneath your pelvis. In the photos, I have a small folded blanket under my pelvis. Sometimes I use a blanket, sometimes I don’t. You can try both. Experiment with the variations to find what feels best to you.
**If you experience pain at any time, please slowly come out of the pose. This is not a replacement for medical treatment. Please consult a qualified professional for medical care if needed.
Once you try them, let me know how it goes.
Wishing you well,
Integrative Coach | Yoga Teacher |Movement Educator