Health Benefits of Legs Up The Wall

If desirous about yoga brings to thoughts photos of backbends and headstands, suppose once more. You don’t need to be a yoga die-hard and even notably versatile to reap the advantages of easier, extra accessible poses. One of them is viparita karani, also known as legs-up-the-wall pose, which is strictly because it sounds: Your torso and head lie flat on the bottom whereas your legs are inverted up a wall.

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Robert Saper, MD, MPH, Chair of Wellness and Preventive Medicine, talks about what legs-up-the-wall pose can do to your physique and tips on how to safely execute it, whether or not or not you’re a yogi in coaching.

Health advantages of legs-up-the-wall pose (viparita karani)

Legs-up-the-wall pose is one among a number of yoga poses generally known as inversion poses. “This means that the upper body is inverted from its normal, upright position,” Dr. Saper explains. Other examples embrace downward-facing canine, shoulder stands and headstands.

In Sanskrit, viparita means “inverted” and karani interprets to “in action.” When you do legs-up-the-wall pose, then, you’re in an lively inversion place. With your legs above the remainder of your physique, gravity will get to work on them in a method it merely can’t for a lot of the day.

And legs-up-the-wall pose is accessible even to individuals who aren’t capable of do different inversion poses. “The advantage of legs up the wall compared to a headstand or shoulder stand is that you’re able to achieve the benefits of inversion without stressing or straining your neck and head,” Dr. Saper explains. He cautions that anybody with continual neck ache or any problems of the backbone within the neck area shouldn’t do shoulder stands or headstands.

He outlines the potential well being advantages of legs-up-the-wall pose.  

It improves circulation

A typical reason for leg swelling is venous insufficiency when your leg veins don’t successfully flow into blood out of your legs again up towards your coronary heart. Weak circulation is related to blood pooling and retention of blood in your legs, which might elevate your probabilities of blood clots — and, on the very least, some swelling and discomfort.

Even when you don’t have continual venous insufficiency, standing or sitting all day might restrict your physique’s skill to simply flow into blood again up your physique. But legs up the wall might help.

“The main benefit of viparita karani is that it puts back into circulation the bodily fluids stored in your legs,” Dr. Saper explains. “By inverting and holding that pose, it allows the return of blood flow and reduction of lower-leg swelling.”

It might help you de-stress

Research shows that yoga can, typically, have a optimistic affect in your physique’s stress response methods, and restorative yoga poses like legs up the wall are supposed to information your physique right into a state of leisure.

“Many patients describe anecdotally they find holding the pose is very calming,” Dr. Saper says. De-stressing is related to higher total bodily and psychological well being, and even a stronger immune system.

It may have extra advantages

If legs up the wall helps you chill out, it might certainly provide help to really feel higher total — however beware any sweeping claims that it’s some kind of cure-all, Dr. Saper warns. “Some people claim that it alleviates other conditions such as headaches and high blood pressure, but there’s no evidence of that.”

How typically to do legs up the wall

“As a researcher of yoga and a yoga instructor, I recommend this pose as part of an overall restorative yoga practice, done toward the end of your practice,” Dr. Saper says.

The pose is protected to do as typically as a few times a day, whether or not as a part of your common yoga follow or as a stand-alone pose.

How to grasp legs-up-the-wall pose

“Initially, you should be instructed by a yoga teacher to make sure that you’re doing it safely and not straining your neck head or spine,” Dr. Saper advises. “But it’s relatively easy to do.” You can even study from on-line yoga movies.

Here’s tips on how to do legs-up-the-wall pose:

  1. Ready your props: Place a blanket or yoga mat on the ground, subsequent to the wall, and use a skinny pillow to your head if wanted.
  2. Get in place: Lie down on the blanket or mat together with your buttocks scooted up towards the wall. Your tailbone ought to stay on the ground, together with your buttocks a number of inches out from the wall. “Your back and head are simply aligned on the floor perpendicular to the wall, relaxed,” Dr. Saper explains.
  3. Feel the stretch: The backs of your legs ought to relaxation towards the wall, together with your knees relaxed and your ft parallel to the ground under. You ought to really feel a lightweight stretch in your legs, nevertheless it shouldn’t be painful.
  4. Take it simple: Relax and breathe deeply as you maintain the pose. “I recommend holding it for a similar length as other yoga poses — anywhere up to two to three minutes,” Dr. Saper says. You can do it for longer, although, when you’d like.
  5. Come out of the pose slowly: When you’re achieved, transfer fastidiously right into a seated place and sit quietly for a minimum of 30 seconds. “You don’t want to rapidly come out of out of an inversion pose,” Dr. Saper desires.

Who shouldn’t attempt legs up the wall

As with any yoga posture, there are some dangers related to doing legs up the wall. Avoid the pose when you have been identified with the next circumstances.


Inversion poses like legs up the wall have been proven to extend intraocular strain — the fluid strain inside your eyes — making them unsafe for folks with glaucoma. “The pressure comes back down to normal after you resume a normal sitting position,” Dr. Saper says, “but if you have glaucoma, the pose should not be done at all.”

Conditions that trigger extreme fluid retention

People with particular circumstances that trigger extreme fluid quantity of their our bodies must also largely keep away from legs up the wall. “They should either not do this pose, or do it very sparingly with guidance from their physician because there’s such a large amount of fluid that could be returned to the circulation it could strain the heart,” Dr. Saper says. These circumstances embrace:

  • Congestive coronary heart failure.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Liver failure or cirrhosis.

Uncontrolled hypertension

If you may have uncontrolled high blood pressure, you’ll additionally wish to keep away from legs up the wall, as this pose can additional improve your blood strain. But be at liberty to revisit it after working with a physician to stabilize your blood strain.

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