Saturday, March 11, 2017

Vparita Karani - Legs Up the Wall

I truly believe yoga can be for everyone and every body so I want to start a series of blog posts that can help you activate each yoga asana (poses) in a way that's accessible and meaningful for you. My favorite part of my Yoga Teacher Training was learning modifications for each pose and gaining a deeper understanding of what each pose can bring to your life.

I am hopeful this series will help when you attend a class or practice along with a video at home so you can understand what each pose does for your body and make the proper adjustments that still allow you to get the most out of each pose. I will also share easy ways to modify your poses with what you have at home so you don't have to go out and buy expensive yoga props until you're ready to make that investment (or at all).

The first pose I want to help you understand is a favorite of mine. It's easy and one that most people will be able to safely and easily practice. Even if you think you're too busy to practice yoga you can always start with just this pose at the end of your day and work up to a full practice.

Sanskrit Name: Vparita Karani
AKA: Legs Up the Wall


Why you should practice Legs Up the Wall:
  • Calms the mind
  • Tones and strengthens abdominal organs, lungs, upper body, and core
  • Improves concentration, focus, balance, spinal alignment, and digestion
Who should NOT practice Legs Up the Wall:
  • Those with back or neck injury, headache/migraine issues, high blood pressure, heart conditions, menstruating or pregnant women, detached retina, or those with a history of or at risk of stroke
  • Women who are menstruating or pregnant should not practice inverted postures, back bends, or vigorous standing postures. Pregnant women should not practice twists or abdominal compressing postures. Other special cautions may apply to individuals with specific health conditions.
  • This does not mean people with these conditions can never practice Legs Up the Wall. If you want to try this pose you should speak with your physician or mental health provider to ensure being in this pose won't aggravate any existing conditions. You may be able to practice it with modifications or for shorter lengths of time. If you feel discomfort or are unsure, consult your physician first.


Activating asana tips:
  • Practice Legs Up the Wall at the end of your practice when you are preparing to cool down
  • If you don't have time for a full practice spend a few minutes before going to bed relaxing in this pose
  • You can listen to a meditation or take time to focus on your breath while you let your body have a few minutes of restorative peace
  • You can let your arms extend out beside you with your palms facing up or if that feels too open and exposed you can place your hands over your stomach or chest and feel the movement of your breath
What other tips or information would you like to see out of these posts? Are there certain poses you'd like to see me break down or show modifications for? What else is confusing about yoga or prevents you from practicing? Share your tips or what you love about Legs Up the Wall after you try it!

Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your doctor/mental health provider prior to participating in this or any other form of exercise. To reduce the risk of injury never force or strain during practice. If you experience pain or discomfort during exercises, stop, and immediately consult your doctor.