Take a load off and restore with this simple yoga pose!
Simple Yoga Pose:
Legs up the wall
- The Heart
- The Lymph Systerm
- Swollen tired legs, Edema, Varicose veins
- Calming the mind
- Menopause, Stress, Exhaustion
Benefits of This Simple Yoga Pose:
The Heart ~ Ultimately this posture is excellent for the heart. It sends blood rushing back into the abdomen and chest, nourishing all the internal organs. However, this posture is especially beneficial for those with hypertension or other heart issues. Personally I believe that people with hypertension and or heart issues benefit greatly from this pose not only because of the physical nourishment that the emotional benefits of slowing down and being restful.
The Lymph System ~ The lymph system is unique in the body in that it does not have any mechanism of its own for movement throughout the body. Therefore it relies on physical activity and inversion for movement. Obviously physical activity is the main mode for movement of lymph fluid in the body, but why not put gravity to work while you rest? By inverting the legs upside down, gravity pulls all of the lymph fluid that has drained in the lower region of the body throughout the day back into circulation.
Swollen tired legs, Edema and Varicose veins ~ For years I worked standing for 6-8 hours on hard marble floors and I developed varicose veins. This pose is amazing for tired legs. 10-20 minutes can make the legs feel rejuvenated and ready to go. With any kind of swelling, be it from edema or varicose, the inverting of the legs helps the swelling go down and has both short team and long term benefits if practiced regularly.
Calms the mind ~ This posture has a nourishing effect on the whole system. Because it is an inversion all of your energy (prana/qi) goes to an area in the body called dantians. The areas are located below the belly button (lower dantean), in the center of the chest (middle dantian), between the eyebrow center (upper dantian). Dantian is also known as “energy center” and during rest or meditation energy accumulates in these 3 areas having profound restorative and rejuvenating effects on the whole system.
Menopause, Stress, and Exhaustion ~ I want to be clear about this. These are 3 separate complaints but I grouped them together because the mechanism of relief is the same. Legs up the wall helps balance the nervous system and therefore relieves nervous exhaustion. This in turn mitigates the effects of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline).
Remember your body and mind need time to rest. That means unplugging from the activities of life and plugging into your own quiet and stillness.
Contraindications and Cautions:
People with glaucoma or other eye issues should avoid inversions.
Do not practice this pose if you feel any pressure in the head.
Pregnant women should not practice this pose if they are at a hight risk of miscarriage of if you feel at all uncomfortable Pregnant women can practice for shorter amounts of time (5-10min). You will feel lightheaded and dizzy long before the baby loses any oxygen, so move out of the posture if any symptoms occur.
Menses. Most of the time it is contraindicated to do inversions during menses, especially during the first 2 days or when the menses is heavy. When the flow is light, I would suggest a modified version where the legs are not fully extended in the air but rather bent and resting on chair or couch.