Legs Up the Wall: Viparita Karani

It’s Viparita Karani in Sanskrit but we commonly refer to it as Legs Up The Wall.

The benefits are many and surprisingly profound which is why we rely on this shape often in Avita Yoga.

With practice, you’ll be able to nap in the shape. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Improves circulation to the brain, shoulders, arms, and hands (remember, the leading cause of pain is lack of blood flow).
  • Helps move lymph through the body so it can be cleansed and dumped back into the bloodstream near the heart which boosts the immune system.
  • Helps regulate hormones by taking pressure off the sex organs/glands in men and women.
  • Improves digestion by relaxing the nervous system and taking pressure off the abdomen.
  • Requires the heart to move the blood up to the toes while not encouraging it to work harder and faster.
  • Addresses physical restriction in the ankles, knees, low back, and neck.
  • Helps restore balance to the SI joint.
  • Improves mobility of the spine.
  • Induces a sense of calm to the body and peace to the mind (works well as a meditation shape).
  • Relieves symptoms of mild depression and insomnia.
  • Along with many other shapes, it restores youthfulness to the body.

This image has the practitioner too close to the wall. It should not be stressful on the hamstring muscles. The head can be supported on a bolster or pillow. Try it and let it become part of your basic hygiene—an inner cleansing.

We nourish ourselves with food, we brush our teeth, we bathe, we sleep, we move our bodies, and get some exercise, but what do we do on a regular basis to mend the body and restore peace to the mind? For most, not much. Many are good about physical exercise, but from personal experience and working with countless bodies, I surmise that exercise is not enough. In fact, given the limited amount of time in one’s day, far better to treat yourself to Avita Yoga if even once or twice a week.

Think of it as inner hygiene for body and mind.

It will make you feel better, consistently better. We push ourselves to exercise, but we allow ourselves to have a helpful yoga practice. If an hour is too long, join us for the first half-hour of class and be done (easy to do with online streaming and replays). Above all, bring your problems to the practice! Bring your fatigue, pains, problems, and your complaints with the world. Bring anything and everything that bothers you to your practice! Bring your pets (they’ll eventually settle down) and all the outer distractions. That’s what yoga is for! Let it help you find a better way in body and mind.

Please be my guest.

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…and try this class with legs up the wall or click through to replays and pick any class you like. Share it with a friend and practice “together.”

This post was inspired by an NPR “comic strip” with the following caption—tip #3 of 5 on “How to Survive the Pandemic Winter.”