Legs Up the Wall Pose
- Begin by sitting on the floor with a wall next to your side. Your legs should be stretched out straight in front of you. Exhale and gently lie down on your back, engage your core and hip muscles to bring your legs up into the air with the bottoms of your feet pointing to the ceiling.
- Pivot your body so the backs of your legs are now touching the wall. Bring your sitting bones flush to the ground and as close to the wall as possible so your torso and legs create a 90-degree angle.
- Relax your neck and place your hands on your belly or to your sides with palms facing up. Focus on your breathing and with each breath release any stress or anxiety, starting from your feet and down through your body.
- Stay in the Legs Up the Wall Pose for five to 20 minutes. To come out of the pose, gently press the bottoms of your feet into the wall and roll to one side, making sure you support your legs until they reach the ground. Stay on the ground for a few seconds until sitting up so as to avoid lightheadedness.
Modifications & Variations
Performing the Legs Up the Wall Pose can strain your lower back and hips. You can place a pillow or a rolled-up yoga mat or towel under your lower back to relieve excess strain.
You can also place a pillow or mat for support under your head.
A strap can be used just around your thighs and above the knees to help hold legs in place and take pressure off the low back and pelvis.
You can also bend your knees up onto a chair which will soften the low back and ease the strain in the back of your legs.
If you are a beginner, focus on using your breath to help “ground” your body as well as relieve excess stress. On each inhale, imagine your breath is moving through your torso and pressing your thighs closer to the wall. On each exhale, imagine your thighs connected to the wall as your let your torso release any tension into the floor.
Be careful when lifting your legs to the upright position if you have lower back or hip pain. One way to relieve excess strain on the lower back is to use a rolled-up yoga mat, towel or pillow.
Like any inversion, people with glaucoma should avoid this pose. In some yoga practices, doing this inversion while menstruating is not advised.
Do not do this if you have a hernia of any kind. Also, if you have high or low blood pressure, be careful when performing this pose for extended periods of time or avoid it altogether. Lifting your legs higher than your heart can increase blood pressure and lead to heart and other health problems.
The same warning is also suggested after completion of the pose when you transition from lying to the standing position. Standing suddenly can cause blood pressure fluctuations which can lead to serious injury.