If you have attended a yoga class before, the instructor may have asked you to put your legs against the wall. Although it might seem a little silly at first, there’s something relaxing about this restorative yoga pose – you can close your eyes and let the wall bear the weight of your legs. I have been a yoga teacher for over twenty years and often offer Legs Up the Wall to my students as an alternative to savasana. (You can also use Legs Up the Wall to meditateas long as it feels relaxing.)
Legs Up the Wall not only provides stillness and calm, it also has many health benefits. Keep reading to learn more about this position and how to get the most out of it.
Benefits for High Legs
Known in Sanskrit as Viparita Karani, which translates to “inverted in action”, Legs Up the Wall tilts your body from its normal position. In yoga, moving your body in ways different from its typical patterns is believed to benefit both mind and body. Legs Up the Wall is a type of inversion (meaning your body is inverted from its usual upright position) and offers a way to get the benefits of yoga inversions without having to do a pose. more difficult, like pear tree or one headstand.
As for the health benefits, the Legs-Up-the-Wall pose offers these physical and mental benefits:
- Relieves muscle pain and fatigue: Our feet, legs, and spine are all weight-bearing structures that function to keep us upright, Meredith Witte, MS, exercise physiologist and yoga instructor, says. When we unload these structures (such as by lying down or leaning our legs against the wall), the corresponding muscles can rest, “reducing fatigue and potentially the pain associated with overloading or overworking our tissues,” says- she.
- Reduces inflammation of the feet, ankles and legs: Gravity can cause blood and other fluids to build up in the legs, ankles and feet, Witte says. You can challenge this pull by raising your legs up in the Legs-Up-the-Wall pose. “This allows gravity to pull any accumulated fluid from your legs to your pelvis and torso,” she says, making this pose good for workout recovery.
- Increases flexibility in the back of the legs: The wall passively flexes your thighs and knees, lengthen your hamstrings in a stretched position, says Witte.
- Reduces stress: When you’re stressed, the nervous system’s fight or flight response causes the body to secrete stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, says Witte. Exercise, meditationand any restorative posture – including Legs Up the Wall – can relieve stress. This particular pose allows your muscles to completely relax and your breathing to regulate, giving your nervous system a chance to slow down. This helps reduce stress hormone levels, leaving you with a sense of calm.
- Relieves headaches: Studies have found that yoga can relieve tension-type headaches and maybe even migraine, says Witte. Indeed, stress is often a trigger, and as mentioned above, this pose can help relieve stress.
- Relieves Menstrual Cramps: Studies have shown that yoga can significantly reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. Researchers are still trying to pinpoint the physiological reasons, but a common assumption is that yoga increases blood flow to the pelvic region without causing too much stress (like rigorous exercise would), Witte says. Although some yoga traditions advise against doing this pose or any inversion during menstruationsince it goes against the normal flow of menstrual fluid, it is in no way harmful to your body.
- Cools the legs after sitting or standing for long periods: When you stand up after doing this pose, your legs will feel refreshed. “The extended time in Legs Up the Wall removes the downward force of gravity, allowing your lower body muscles to rest and any excess fluids to drain out,” says Witte.
- Help to fall asleep: Witte says that if your body feels comfortable and relaxed, the parasympathetic “rest and digest” side of your nervous system will begin to take over, leaving you feeling calm and ready for rest. Try that yoga sequence for sleep which includes the Leg Up Wall Pose.
Can pushing your legs against the wall after sex help you conceive?
We can’t talk about Legs Up the Wall without talking about it! There’s a myth that after having sex, raising your legs and hips can help stop sperm from leaking out, giving sperm a better chance of swimming to the egg. However, there is no scientific evidence that doing this pose will help you get pregnant, obstetrician and gynecologist Jennie Lowell, MD, says. Gravity doesn’t affect the progress of sperm to the egg, so there’s no need to put your legs up against the wall after sex. (The best thing to do to get pregnant is to have sex a few days before or on the day of ovulation.)
Tips for Doing Leg Pose Along the Wall
You can do this pose anywhere there is a wall – you can even lie on your bed. To enter the pose, sit with one of your hips as close to the wall as possible. Swing your legs against the wall while lowering your torso toward the floor. Use your shoulders to move your butt up to the wall. There are different variations of Leg Up the Wall, such as separate your legs into a wide split or bend the knees and bring the soles of the feet into contact in a butterfly position. You can also rest your hips on a folded blanket, pillow, or yoga bolster, or place a small pillow or rolled-up towel under your head or neck.
If your lower back or the back of your legs are very tight, this pose may be too uncomfortable to be relaxing. If you are unable to do this pose with your legs straight against a wall but still want to reap the benefits, rest your legs on something like a chair, couch, step, or pile of blankets or blankets. pillows, so that your knees are bent but your legs are still supported.
Whichever variation of Legs Up the Wall you choose, close your eyes and rest your arms in a T position, across your heart, or across your stomach – anywhere that allows you to blend completely into the ground. Focus on the feeling of your ribs expanding and contracting with each full breath. Stay there as long as you want, settle into this pose for several minutes or up to 20 if it feels good.