Do This Restorative Yoga Pose Right Now! favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - April 3rd 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Yoga, Healing, Self-Love, Feel-Good Friday

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

Today’s Feel-Good Friday episode features one of Rachel’s favorite restorative yoga poses ever, Viparita Karani or Legs Up the Wall pose.

Tune in to learn how to access the pose, it’s many benefits, and variations for different body types.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or stuck in a loop of fear, this pose could be everything you need.

You can even do the pose while you’re listening to this episode!


[00:05] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily and happy Friday! It is our Feel-Good Friday today, so I'm going to give you a little feel-good self-care tip to bring you into a good vibe that you can keep all through the weekend. Today I actually have a yoga pose that I want to leave you with, and I haven't done this before on Yoga Girl Daily, but there's a specific pose that I really want to share today just because it's been absolutely instrumental when it comes to keeping myself grounded and feeling calm throughout these very strange and challenging times. The pose that I want you to take through the weekend and this is a pose that I want you to come back to as many times as you need, as many times as you can, is Viparita Karani or Legs Up the Wall pose. So, if you are a yoga practitioner, I'm sure you know this pose by heart.

[00:58] If you've never tried it before, I am excited for you to try something that really can help you. This is one of those poses that I find, it actually helps to settle our nervous system and it does so almost immediately. It's a very accessible pose. So, even if you have pain somewhere or if you're feeling very tired or you have something specific going on in your body, you can still come to this pose. You can do it with or without a yoga mat. You don't need a mat at all. But if you have a mat, bring the short end of the mat all the way up to a wall. If you don't have a wall, you're going to come sitting down with your sit bones grounding to the earth. But the outer hip facing the wall, so the feet grounded, sit bones grounding to the earth and the outer hip doesn't matter which side, facing the wall.

[01:41] And then as you come lying down, I want you to swing your legs up the wall and then scoot your sit bones as closely as they go toward the actual wall. So you're going to have the back of your head, shoulders, and the entire spine resting on the floor. Sit bones and the legs pressing up toward the wall. And as you get there, you can give yourself a little bit of time and space to feel comfortable. Sometimes you want to keep a little bit of a bend in the back of the knees if the back of the legs feel tight today. You can flex your feet or point your toes or just relax your toes as you are. Now the moment you arrive, so this pose, it's really delicious if you have any sort of pain or sensitivity around your lower back. It also helps to decompress your neck and it is one of those poses where you can actually fully let go and just relax for a moment.

[02:32] So it's not about reaching for something or looking for a certain stretch or deepening your experience. It's simply by releasing the weight of the body to the floor. But with the legs up the wall in this angle, it's very softening and very calming for your entire system, both your physical body and your nervous system as well. I have made it a habit to, whenever I feel overwhelmed or whenever I find myself stuck in a loop of fear or worry, which happens pretty much once or twice a day, at the very least, instead of following that fear loop and kind of going into that little spiral of, Oh my God, what's happening with the world? Are we going to be okay? I try to immediately just come sitting to the floor, swing my legs up the wall and let the back of the head relax on the earth and I take a few moments just breathing right there.

[03:19] You can stay for a minute. You can stay for five if it feels really good, you know, stay until you have that intuitive feeling of, okay, it's time for me to make my way back. If you have extreme tightness in the back of your legs, you can also do this on a chair. We call this the 90-90 version, where you bring your sit bones close to the edge of a chair and you let your calves rest on the seat of the chair, so you have a 90 degree there with the shins to knees down to the hips. It's another variation. Just if you feel a lot of tightness today in the back of the hamstrings or in the back of the legs, but finding this pose just as a way to calm yourself whenever you feel overwhelmed. You can have it be a two minute moment of a meditation that you do twice a day, perhaps once in the morning and once before bed.

[04:07] It's helping me a lot. It used to be my favorite pose and then I kind of lost touch with this pose a little bit, I don't know why and it's, it's just made its way back into my life right now as a resource that I'm using every single day. And what's fun is this is a pose I can do with my family as well. I find anytime I come to the floor in this way, my daughter wants to do that with me as well, so it's actually a moment of calm connection for all of us. Let me know how this pose is serving you. Hopefully it's helpful. You can also Google Legs Up the Wall pose if you want to see just an image of what it looks like, but letting this podcast episode be your invitation to find restorative shapes for your body to not just think about movement as something that you have to push through or sweat through, but finding restorative shapes, moving a little bit more toward what really helps calm both the body and the mind, and then keeping that with you all through the weekend. Thank you so much for listening to Yoga Girl Daily today and wishing you a beautiful weekend ahead. I'll see you on Monday.

[End of Episode]