Legs Up the Wall: November Yoga Pose of the Month

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Brings relief to feet, legs and spine. Relaxes the nervous system and cultivates sleep.

Legs Up the Wall (Sanskrit: Viparita Karani)

legs-up-porch-columnlegs-up-tree

  1. Begin the pose with the short edge of a yoga mat by the wall (tree/porch column). Sit with side of hip against the wall. Gently turn your torso towards the wall and bring your legs up the wall as you lie your back on mat. If your hamstrings are tight, your hip can be distanced several inches from wall.  Option:  You may use a folded blanket or bolster for back support.  If you have one, your lower back/sacrum should be planted on the prop before extending legs up wall. The closer the prop is to wall, the more lengthening in the hamstrings.  Those who are more flexible can use higher support and move closer to wall.  As you move into pose, your legs should feel unstrained.  You decide the distance.  
  2. Lengthen spine and rest shoulders and head on mat. Make any adjustments to get comfortable.  Allow your arms to move down the sides of the body. If you’re using a blanket or bolster, your lower back should be fully supported.  A strap can also be used by creating a loop to lasso lower legs snuggly together.  Legs should feel as if they won’t fall.  Allow your thighs to relax and release shifting into pelvis and hip sockets.  You may cover up with a blanket.  An eye pillow is a nice option as well as having a blanket stacked on top of feet.  Get comfortable.
  3. Close your eyes. Stay in pose for ~5-10 minutes. Notice your breathing – relaxed and deep.
  4. To release from the pose, begin to bring subtle movement to the body. Slowly move yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down and turn over onto right side. Stay here for a few breaths and then use your hands to press yourself back to a seated position.

Namaste - The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.

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About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, MA, MCHES, E-RYT, CWHC, CYT

Wellness Supervisor

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty years. As a chemist, she conducted research which brought her into the mindset of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position as Wellness Supervisor. She loves working with her team members, teaching yoga and meditation, presenting seminars and nurturing healthy lifestyle changes to the SAS community. Celeste is a published author, the wife of a fun-loving husband, mother of a high school daughter, yogini and professional front porch meditator. She is a nationally Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC), Certified Yin-Yang Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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