Legs Up the Wall Yoga Pose
overview

Legs Up the Wall Yoga Pose is a supine, reclined pose that targets the hamstrings and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at all levels.

ajna – the third eye chakra
sahasrara – the crown chakra
related poses
How To Do Legs Up the Wall Yoga Pose
  1. Start by placing the short end of your mat against the wall. Sit on the edge of the mat with your right or left side against the wall, then exhale while swinging your legs up and around toward the wall, rotating your body so that you are laying on your back. Your legs should be fully extended, heels against the wall. Ideally, your hamstrings should be as close to the wall as possible, but this position isn’t meant to be an intense stretch so feel free to position yourself slightly further from the wall until you’re comfortable. Relax your arms and hands at your sides, palms up, or bring them up to rest on either side of your head. The key is to pick a position that feels neutral and comfortable.
  2. This is a position of rest, so be sure that there is no tension throughout your body. You may need to readjust certain areas, lifting the base of your skull away from your neck or actively opening up your shoulder blades away from your spine.
  3. To achieve more inversion and lift, this pose is commonly done with a bolster, foam blocks or even a folded up towel or blanket. From this position, press your heels into the wall and lift your hips off of the ground, bending at the knees, and bring the added support of choice under the small of your back.
  4. After you have lifted your legs and found a place of comfort (or after you have added the bolster), rest in this position as long as you like, preferably 5-15 minutes.
  5. To come out of the position, begin walking the feet down the wall to bend the knee. If you used a bolster, lift your hips by pressing into the wall with your feet and remove the support from underneath you before rolling your back onto the floor. Rest in this position for a few breaths, or until your back has adjusted, before rolling onto your side. Bring the top hand over and place it on the floor in front of you, using it to lift yourself up with an exhalation into the sitting position.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Do not use a bolster if you are menstruating or have high blood pressure (hypertension). Simply remain with your back on the floor or mat.
Tips

You can control the angle of your inversion based on the height of your support. Increase the number of foam blocks, towels or pillows to achieve more inversion.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Lightly stretches hamstrings, calves, neck

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, calves

Health Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Yoga Pose
  • Alleviates swelling of feet and legs.
  • Relieves mild back pain.
  • Can relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress and mild depression.
  • Can relieve symptoms of insomnia, migraines and menstrual cramps.
  • May ease arthritis and respiratory disorders.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Viparita Karani

(vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee)

viparita: reverse, inverse, opposite
karani: making, forming, doing
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?