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Pose of the Month August:
Legs up the Wall

The pose of the month August is Legs up the wall. A great way to feel grounded without it being heavy, since the feet are up.

Bringing your Legs up the Wall

We’re full on in summer, with heat and maybe a lot of outside time. For this month I chose Legs up the Wall.

If your feet feel heavy with the heat and your ankles swell a bit, than this can help you out. Legs up the wall is a mild inversion, where the hips are above heart level. It can be very relieving and energising to practice. Go for the easy non-doing version where you really look for comfort and softness.

If you do not have a wall available, feel free to practice legs up the chair, sofa or bed. Your knees will be bent, make sure they’re not a bigger angle then 90 degrees. If they are place a blanket under your pelvis, back and head, to raise the floor and create a 90 degree angle as your lie down.

Do pay attention to how you feel when you suffer from high blood pressure or glaucoma, if you know this is not for you, you don’t feel comfortable or you are not sure, please consult your healthcare provider before you practice.

viparita karani or legs up the wall pose

How to practice
Legs up the Wall:

Bring your yoga mat with the short side to the wall. Place a bolster (or a firm stack of blankets) against, or just a bit away from the wall, depending on your flexibility and on what is most comfortable for you. Use a blanket to support your head. Fold it to cradle your head or folding it thicker to prevent your head from tilting back. Please watch this video of how to cradle your head.

Bring your buttocks and the bottom of your lower back on top of the bolster with your legs up against the wall. Find a distance from the wall where your lower back feels comfortably supported by the bolster. Place folded blankets under your back if the bolster is too high or replace the bolster with a folded blanket. If you cannot find a position that is completely comfortable for your back don’t do the pose. Make sure your knees are not overstretched. You can wrap a belt around your upperlegs, that might help you to relax your legs more. You can also use a blanket to wrap around your legs, which will keep them warm. If it’s warm already and you want to release some heat you can open de legs a bit more and support the opening with a belt. This helps to release excess heat. Bring your arms out to the side to rest on the ground, or rest your hands on your belly, whichever is most comfortable. Just make sure the area around the shoulders can be soft. Use the eyepillow(s) on your eyes, forehead, breastbone, belly or hands if you like.

Be comfortable and enjoy!

As soon as you have found a comfortable position, rest there. Bring your attention to the movement of your breath and notice what’s there. Allowing the mind to wonder off, but bringing the attention back to the breath whenever you realise your mind has gotten caught up in a story. Your legs might go to sleep, which doesn’t have to be a problem. If it becomes uncomfortable, bend your knees, bring the soles of your feet together and rest in a butterfly-up-the-wall shape, or gently come out of the pose.

When the time has come to come out of the pose, slowly bring your knees to your chest. Stay there for a couple of breaths. Then gently roll to your side and stay there for a couple of breaths. Bring yourself up with the support of your arms and hands.

If you enjoy these kinds of practices, check out my online self-guided journeys. I’ve recorded The Art of Not-Doing restorative packs for you. With these packs you can chose which 20 min restorative practice you want to practice. It also included separate audios with a different guidance once you’re in the pose, to vary the practice.
You can find them here in the shop.