Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall, or Viparita Karani as it’s called in Sanskrit, is a delicious restorative posture that everyone always loves.

It is accessible to anyone and is typically done toward the end of a practice. It is a mild inversion that is suitable for all levels to help reverse the blood flow in the body.

Legs Up the Wall is also commonly practiced by woman during their moon cycles instead of more challenging inversions so as not to disrupt the flow of energy during that time.

This position, while simple, is quite powerful at relaxing the body and mind. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest system for healing.

It also helps to alleviate tension in the lower back, hips, and legs.

How to Do Legs Up the Wall Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Take a seat facing a wall. Scoot your hips as close to the wall as you can and then extend your legs vertically up the wall so they are supported by the wall. If you’re more flexible, you will be closer to the wall and less flexible, you may be further away. Rest your arms out to the sides or in any comfortable position.

Step 2

Allow the legs to relax and feel heavy as they are supported by the wall. Close your eyes and breathe deeply here for 5-10 minutes.

Tip: Make sure to keep your shoulders rolled back and down.

Pose Benefits

  • Stimulates parasympathetic nervous system
  • Relaxes the muscles of the legs, hips, and lower back
  • Calms the mind
  • Improves digestion
  • Eases symptoms of depression and anxiety