woman with legs up the wall

Legs Up the Wall: The Yoga Pose You Didn’t Know You Needed

Legs up the wall yoga is one of the most relaxing poses to do in yoga, and the best part about it is that it has simple steps that anyone can quickly do.

Yoga experts and doctors suggest that the duration should be approximately 20 minutes. It helps with anxiety, stress, edema, and other muscular and abdominal pain.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about legs up the wall pose and how to perform it. It’s a lot easier than you think! 

What is Legs up the Wall Pose?

Legs up the wall pose, also known as ViparitaKaraniis, is a revitalizing yoga pose that helps release stress and improves flexibility. Fortunately, it doesn’t demand a lot of flexibility or strength, making it a fairly easy yoga pose to perform. However, despite being a passive pose, it has some incredible advantages. The legs up the wall pose comes with multiple benefits, and can often used for therapeutic purposes such as curing headaches and reducing stress.

Benefits of Legs up the Wall pose

Legs up the Wall posture can be incredibly relaxing after a long day at the office. It helps release all of that built up stress in your bodies that needs releasing.

There are plenty of benefits of legs up the wall pose, some of them are mentioned below.

benefits of legs up the wall pose

1-     Relieves Stress

Legs Up the Wall is a fantastic technique to help you calm down and feel better because it relaxes your mind and body. You’ll be able to unwind, let go of stress and tension, and regain balance.

It can restore the body’s natural ability to recover, and increase blood circulation, which maintains the homeostasis of the body.

2-     Reduces Knee Pain

Legs up the wall is a perfect workout to reduce knee pain and swelling in the leg. When we are working while sitting or standing all day, it affects our lymphatic system and can swell your legs.

When our lymphatic system is unable to circulate our bodily fluids properly due to inactivity of our body’s muscles, it causes swelling in your organs. That is where you need the legs up the wall position in yoga to help ease discomfort in your knees.

By reversing the effects of gravity on our lower body, this pose can aid with edema in the legs and feet. Additionally, it increases lymphatic fluid circulation and venous drainage.

3-     Releases tension in the neck

The legs up in the wall position helps our nervous system because, in this position, we are not putting so much pressure on our head and neck. This pose is about relaxing our body’s muscles and releasing tension that is a result of intense pressure on your neck.

release tension in the neck

4-     Soothe your tired legs

The legs up the wall position help in soothing the tired legs because you set your legs free in the air to take a lot of the pressure off them.

Due to increased blood circulation, the body’s venous drainage elevates, which calms the nervous system by releasing tension and fatigue in the lower body.

When you raise your legs against the wall and higher than your heart, the lymphatic fluid in your body moves downward towards your heart due to the force of gravity.

If the swelling in your leg is more than average, you can stay in the pose for longer and more frequently.

5-     Lighten up your mind

The more often you practice yoga, the better results it provides. The leg up the wall position is a mindful exercise that relieves stress and anxiety. The steps are easy, worth deep relaxation, and also understandable by beginners.

6-     Cures Backaches

Legs up the wall position help relax your pelvic floor because the pelvic muscles relax in this pose and naturally liberate tension.

This pose reduces pressure and stiffness in the lumbar region and relaxes muscle in the lower back area.

Your spine releases pressure when you put a cushion under your lower back or lie in bed while doing the legs up the wall pose.

7-     Helps with Anxiety

help with

A natural reaction to stress is anxiety, which can be helpful in more stressful situations. However, you’re not always in stressful situations, so being anxious can be exhausting. Studies say that the legs up the wall yoga position can help with anxiety as it reduces the stress hormones in the body.

When you let go of tension and stress with your legs up the wall technique, your body relaxes fully. All you have to do is breathe in and out deeply and focus on the pose. It is a meditative state where you will feel like sliding into euphoria.

8-     Improves Digestion

Legs up the wall strengthens your abdominal muscles and helps get rid of excess gas in the body. This process helps improve digestion and get rid of stomach gas.

Legs up the wall yoga pose activate rest and digest response in the nervous system. This process heals and repairs the digestive system of the body.

9-     Improves Sleep

This yoga pose can even help you sleep better, as you’re body finally gets into a relaxed state.  Keeping your legs up against the wall and focusing on inhaling and exhaling slows down your body and helps you relax.

If you are struggling with sleep lately or have insomnia, you should try this position a few minutes before bed. It helps reduce anxiety, stress, and muscle tension before going to bed.

10-     Treats Headaches and Migraines

Headaches and migraines are usually the result of muscles or nerves in the neck or spine area compressing dangerously. The legs up the wall position helps stretch your muscles and ease tension in your neck, shoulders, and spine. It can help with stressed muscles by improving blood circulation equally throughout the head.

Simple Steps to do Legs up the Wall

Legs up the wall is an easy-to-do yoga pose, and doesn’t require a lot of advanced training. The simple steps you should do to perform this pose include:

  1. The easiest way to do it is to lie in bed with your legs up against the headboard.
  2. Create a cozy area by arranging furniture around a wall.
  3. Shimmy your hips as near to the wall as you can after getting your legs up.
  4. Walk your feet up the wall until you reach an L-shape with your body.
  5. Make any necessary adjustments to create a more comfortable environment. For example, put a pillow under your head or let your arms rest by your sides or belly.
  6. Focus on your breathing; inhale and exhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  7. When you’re done, come out of the pose slowly by gently pulling your knees towards your chest and rolling on the side. Rest for a while, and then sit up straight. When you get up, you should shake your legs a little.

Variation in the Legs Up The Wall position

variation in the legs up the wall position

There are different variations in this pose that you can try. Some of these variations include:

1-     Thread the Needle against the Wall

In this variation, you stretch your hips, primarily the piriformis muscle, which creates a sensation of physical relief. You can feel this comfort throughout your body, especially in your kneecaps and lower back. It keeps your brain calm down and feel more comfortable.

How to do it

  • Start by laying down on your back slowly. Your feet should be roughly hip width apart on the floor with your knees bent. When you can barely brush your heels with your fingertips, move your heels close to your body.
  • Keep the right foot flexed and active so that the toes of the right foot are pointing back toward the right knee. Cross your right ankle on your left thigh below your bent knee. To prevent injury to the knee joint, maintain your right foot’s flexion during the entire pose.
  • Lay your left foot flat against the wall while bending your left knee.
  • Put your left foot down.
  • Stay in this position for the next 5 minutes, and you will feel your right hip and thigh stretch.
  • Repeat it with the other side.

2-     Butterfly

This variation helps stretch the hips and inner thighs.

  • Your knees should point outwards to the left and right, with the soles of your feet touching each other.
  • Slowly move your feet down the wall toward your hips while bending your knees.
  • By gently pressing your knees up against the wall, you can stretch even further.

You can elevate your hips and have blocks under them to make this variation more therapeutic, slightly creating an inversion in your lower belly and a strap to secure your legs together.

This variation will help you relax and not exert force to hold your legs against the wall.

How long should you stay in this pose?

This pose has several health advantages for your body besides helping you relax. The advantages of the legs up the wall(ViparitaKarani) position are numerous, and it enhances blood circulation while boosting energy and easing heel pain.

The exercise helps with receptivity, which is the exact opposite of activity. It keeps the body balanced with this method.

Twenty minutes in this pose is usually enough to calm the nervous system and reduce stress in the body. The venous drainage elevates, the legs, feet, and even the hips are relieved of stress or exhaustion, and it improves blood circulation as well.

According to Dr. Saper, you can perform this pose for much long if you want to, but make sure to come out of the pose slowly and not suddenly. After that, carefully move and sit for at least 30 seconds.

General Tips

  • Avoid extending the body to a 90-degree angle because this can restrict blood flow to the hips. Instead, raise your hips by sliding them a few inches away from the wall or putting a cushion beneath your sacrum.
  • When performing the Legs Up The Wall pose, you may feel your legs or lower back tingle. Your legs can also feel like they fell asleep. When you’re out of the pose, you can shake your legs to help improve circulation.

Cautions

Who should not do Viparita Karani pose?

It depends on someone’s situation. If they have lymphatic system issues or excess body fluid, they must avoid this pose unless they consult a doctor.

Every yoga pose comes with plenty of benefits and risks, and if someone has the following issues, they should avoid adding this pose to their yoga routine.

–        Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease where the optic nerve that connects to the brain damages. It is often due to too much fluid accumulating near the eye.

The legs up the wall position puts pressure around the eye, which reins into fluid accumulation in the front part of the eye. Once you finish this yoga position and sit, the eye returns to normal.

–        Excessive fluid accumulation

It is the condition where the human body generates more fluid than necessary, this yoga pose is not for you if you have this condition. You should consult your doctor before adding this to your daily routine.

–        Heart disease

This pose can increase your blood pressure, and if you have trouble managing your blood pressure, you should avoid this pose.

–        Kidney Failure

If you are suffering from kidney failure, you should avoid this pose unless you consult your doctor and get permission.

–        Liver Failure

Liver failure is another reason why you should avoid this pose.

–        Respiratory disorders

The legs up the wall may affect respiration if you already have a respiratory disorder. You should avoid it in this condition.

–        Spinal disorders

Spinal disorders are another reason to avoid the legs up the wall position.

Related Questions

When to avoid this pose?

Following are certain conditions where you should avoid this yoga pose.

  • If you are worried about increased blood flow towards your head.
  • If you suffer from medical complications such as glaucoma, hypertension, or hernia.
  • Some instructors advise not performing this position on days when you have a heavy menstrual flow.

Do the Legs Up The Wall Pose help you lose weight?

No, this stance won’t aid in your efforts to reduce belly fat or weight. Legs up the wall pose requires little effort to burn a lot of calories.

Why lifting your legs against the wall is good for your health?

Because it helps your muscles relax and releases tension in the body. It eases your blood circulation effortlessly, and you feel lighter and better.

People usually prefer yoga to stay fit and also because it lowers their heart rate, manages stress, and improves blood circulation. People often meditate to reduce depression, anxiety, heart diseases, stomach infections, and lower back pain.

Legs up the wall pose is very effective to relax your neck and shoulders, and can even be helpful as an alternative to medication.

Depending on the circumstances, you can stay in this position for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, it treats lymphatic system issues and its duration affects the entire workout.

Conclusion

The legs up the wall pose improves blood circulation throughout the body. The exciting thing about this position is that it is an easy-to-perform and is relatively easier to do than most other poses.

In this article, we have discussed the importance and benefits of the legs up the wall pose. We have also shared tips on practicing this yoga pose and when to avoid it.

Resources:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-legs-up-the-wall/