This pose provides both mental and physical benefits and can be a great resource for runners.
This pose should be avoided during menstruation or if you have serious neck issues, back issues, or eye issues such as glaucoma.
As both an inversion and a restorative pose, Legs Up the Wall Pose offers many benefits including alleviating challenges with:
- Blood pressure
- Varicose veins
- Menstrual cramps
- Respiratory ailments
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Digestive problems
- Mild depression
- Urinary disorders
- Tight hamstrings
Restorative poses are supported and, as shown in the image above, support in this pose can include blankets, a strap, an eye pillow, and a sandbag.
Sequencing for this pose
This pose is typically sequenced near the end of a yoga practice, often just before pranayama or corpse pose. Preparation poses include hero pose, standing forward bend pose, reclining bound angle pose, and bridge pose.
Getting into this pose
- The first step to getting into this pose is setting up your support. Lay your yoga mat on the floor with the short end next to the wall. Next, place up to 3 folded blankets along the short edge of your mat along the wall as shown in the image above. Optional: place a strap, eye pillow, and sandbag alongside your mat.
- If you tend to have tighter hamstrings, consider placing your blanket farther from the wall and using lower support (i.e., <2 blankets). If your hamstrings are more flexible, set yourself up closer to the wall and consider utilizing higher support (i.e., 2-3 blankets).
- Your height will also play a role in how far away from the wall you set yourself up. Those who are shorter tend to need to be closer to the wall than those who are taller. Experimenting with how close you are to the wall may take some time and I recommend beginning with your support about 5-6 inches away from the wall.
- Move into this pose by starting in a seated position on the right side of your mat with the right side of your body located next to the wall. On your exhale, swing both of your legs from the floor up onto the wall. At the same time move your head and shoulders onto your mat. If you are using blankets in this pose, check that your sitting bones are resting between your blankets and the wall. Notice an arch in your torso. If your torso is flat or your back is rounded, adjust your support by bending your knees and pushing into the wall to lift your pelvis off your support. While your pelvis is lifted, adjust your support so that it is higher and then slowly lower your pelvis back onto your support.
- Using your hands, lift the base of your skull away from your neck. Feel your shoulder blades extending away from the spine, soften your throat, and allow your arms to reach out to your sides with palms up.
- While engaging your leg muscles, feel them relaxing into the support of the wall. You may place a strap around your thighs to provide additional support and relaxation to the legs. You may also add to your support in this pose by placing a sandbag on your feet. To do this, bend your knees as if you were going to do bound angle pose and place the sandbag on top of your heels before carefully extending your feet back up the wall. This step should be done before placing the strap. Finally, close your eyes and feel free to utilize an eye pillow.
- Feel free to remain in this pose for 5-15 minutes. When coming out of this pose, bend your knees and push your feet against the wall in order to lift your pelvis and remove the support from under you. After you lower your pelvis back onto the floor, you may bend your knees and roll to the side before using your arms to push yourself up into a seated position.