If you follow us on Instagram, you've most likely come across my favorite end-of-day ritual of placing my legs up the wall. This gentle inversion, also known as Viparita Karani, is one of the most approachable yoga poses & one I do consistently at the end of the day to allow my body and mind to relax. While elevating your legs doesn’t require much flexibility or strength, it can benefit your health in several ways. Some of the key benefits include improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and better lymph flow (which you know we're ALL about).
- First things first, grab any props you may need (yoga mat, pillow, or blanket) and set up your space.
- Lie on your back flat and swing your legs up the wall. Elongate your spine so your shoulder blades slide down and under you. Shuffle your butt close to the wall and rest your arms by your side or on your belly.
- This is where the props come in. Feel free to place a small rolled up blanket or other support (such as a pillow) under your butt so that your hips are above your head. This shouldn't feel uncomfortable or strenuous. Add additional height under your hips if it feels better on your back.
- With gravity working in your favor, this is a great position to practice your lymphatic drainage ritual using The Body Tool. It will assist in the travel of excess fluid & toxins towards your lymphatic nodes and out of your system.
* Note: Because your legs are upside down, you may feel a bit of tingling as the inversion promotes drainage and circulation. If you feel like your legs and feet have gone a little numb or have fallen asleep, give your knees a break or shake before continuing.
- Boosts circulation: Sitting and standing throughout the day can cause blood to store in the veins of the legs leading to swelling, cramping, pain, restlessness, itching, and fatigue. Elevating your legs for even 10-20 minutes a day helps to improve circulation and relieves these symptoms.
- Improves sleep: Elevating your legs when combined with deep, mindful breathing helps to slow down the heart rate and bring you back to the present moment, creating a calm environment to doze off into a better night's sleep.
Promotes lymph flow: The lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to help the fluid around the body so it's very common for fluid to get stagnant in the lower limbs. This pose is beneficial for draining the lymph from your legs and feet and into your lymph nodes for cleansing.
- Soothes swollen feet/legs: Taking the pressure off your feet and legs helps to reduce any swelling in the lower half of your body, it takes the pressure off the veins and allows the circulation to improve.