Legs-up-the-wall is an easy, restorative yoga pose that is an invaluable source of rest and invigoration. It benefits your whole body, not just feet and legs. You can do it for just 5 minutes, or longer, and if you practice deep breathing in the pose, you’ll receive even more benefit. All you need is an empty wall; a bolster, pillow, or 2-3 large towels; and a small towel or eye bag.
- Lay on the floor next to the wall, with a blanket under you if the spot isn’t carpeted. Swing your legs up so that your heels rest on the wall and your hips are near the wall. If you have any low back discomfort, move your body back a bit from the wall.
- Slide a bolster, firm pillow, or two thick folded towels under your lower back to elevate your pelvis. Position your head directly on top of your spine, sensing your spine from the crown of the head to the tailbone is in a straight line. Bend the knees slightly so that you are not ‘locking’ out the kneecaps. If you have any neck pain, roll a towel and place it under your neck.
- When comfortable, place an eye bag or small towel over your closed eyes. Allow the eyes to remain closed for the five minutes that you rest in this position. Covering the eyes helps the central nervous system rest and activates the relaxation response. Practicing legs-up-the-wall for 20 minutes while doing deep, conscious breathing is like a 2-hour nap!
- To exit, bend the knees, lower the heels down the wall, and roll off to the right side. Lay on your side for a few breaths before sitting upright, back against the wall. Rest for a minute to let your blood pressure stabilize before you stand up.
Add this to your arsenal of stress relievers, in addition to a weekly therapeutic massage at Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto. Both will help naturally boost your energy and keep you more grounded and relaxed when life gets hectic.