School has started or is about to, so let’s take advantage of it by starting a routine and restoring ourselves. No one can pour from an empty cup. Some benefits of the Pose of the Month, Waterfall A.k.a. Legs Up the Wall Pose, include:
- Regulating blood flow
- Relieving swollen ankles and varicose veins
- Improving digestion
- Restoring tired feet or legs
- Stretching the back of the neck, front torso, and back of the legs
- Relieving mild backache
- Providing migraine and headache relief, especially when done with a bandage wrapped tightly around the forehead and back of the skull
- Calming anxiety
- Relieving symptoms of mild depression and insomnia
This pose is easy to do, and you can stay in in for as long as you are comfortable (all day) or have the time. 5-15 mins is generally recommended. As with all poses start slow and work up to longer periods of time. If you feel any discomfort gently come out of the pose and readjust.
Getting into the Pose
Lie on the floor near a wall and practice deep, steady breathing. On an exhale swing your legs up onto the wall so that your heels and sitting bones are supported against it. If you have any discomfort in your lower back, adjust your body slightly back from the wall so that your sitting bones are not touching the wall. Rest your head on the mat or floor, keeping your spine straight, and bend your knees a little so your kneecaps are not hyperextending.
There are many variations to this pose. Make it your own by placing a yoga block or folded blankets on the ground beneath your back. When positioning your support, you must consider its height and its distance from the wall. Be honest with yourself to avoid straining any muscles! If you are not very flexible, your support should be lower to the ground and farther from the wall. If you are flexible, keep your support higher and closer to the wall. Your sitting bones do not need to be against the wall, but rather “dripping” down into the space between the wall and your support. Keep a gentle arc in your torso from the pubis bone to the top of the shoulders.
If your neck feels strained, place a small, rolled-up towel under it. Cover your eyes and keep your them closed as you soften and release. Rest your arms out to your sides. Open your shoulder blades away from the spine, relaxing your hands and wrists. Keep your legs held vertically in place, but only partially flexed.
Release the weight of your belly toward the back of the pelvis, deeply into the torso. Soften the eyes and turn them down towards your heart. To come out of this restorative pose, roll onto your side for a few breaths before sitting upright with your back against the wall, then slowly rising to your feet.
If you do not have wall space don’t worry. You can use a chair or several bolsters to gentle place your feet in an elevated position.
How Do You Feel?
As always, I love to hear your feedback. Please take notice of you and let me know all about it. Happy restoring!