Pose of the month: Legs up the wall

Pose of the month

Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)

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Legs up the wall: a restorative or, resting, pose that allows the mind and the body to relax while reliving stress and tension. This passive yoga pose doesn’t require much flexibility or strength but reaps amazing benefits! Try it before you go to bed at night and notice the difference within your mind and body.

Benefits:

  • Eases Stress
  • Improves digestion
  • Calming and relaxing right before bed
  • Relieves headaches and anxiety
  • Relieves swollen ankles

Tips and Tricks of the pose

  • Try not to bring the body to a full 90-degree angle as this can impede circulation at the hips. Instead slide your hips a few inches from the wall and/or elevate your hips by placing a cushion under your sacrum.
  • If you are pregnant, try adding a few extra pillows under your back and head prop your upper body slightly higher.

Pranayama- The Full Yoga Breath

This breath is a staple within yoga classes. It is a wonderful way to help reduce stress, relax and still the mind. Its practice will also improve your mindfulness and awareness.

Practice the Full Yoga Breath while sitting or lying down with your eyes closed. Place one palm on your chest and one on your belly to feel the expansion; inhaling & exhaling – 7 counts in total each.

  • Inhale 4 counts by fully expanding the diaphragm muscle so that the abdomen blows up like a balloon. (I like to imagine an umbrella opening in my belly on the inhales and closing on the exhales)
  • Continue the inhalation with another 1-2 counts (depending on lung capacity) through the top section of the lungs.
  • Pause for a couple of moments and slowly exhale out of your chest, ribs and belly.
  • Finally, when in your practice try to maintain this breath. If you are feeling tight, send the breath to that spot. If you are feeling unstable in your balancing poses, try counting your breaths to still your mind and body.

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