Legs up the wall is a great way to unwind and restore at the end of the day. If you have been on your feet all day, running around (for work, play or parenthood) this pose has a number of benefits.
By slightly elevating the hips into a gentle inversion, you are reversing the flow of blood and getting it moving back away from the feet.
For this series I suggest having a bolster. But if you don’t have one, you can find some bed pillows, couch cushions or blankets. Find what you can use to support and lift the hips about six inches, while also able to get comfy and cozy.
You may also want to have a blanket or sweater to make sure you don’t get cold. Option as well to dim the lights or grab an eye pillow to place over them.
Hold each of these poses for about 5 minutes, in a manner similar to Yin. Get into the pose, find time to settle, and then be still – letting gravity do the work.
1. Traditional Legs Up the Wall – Place your prop up against the wall. Sit up on it sideways, then turn towards the wall. Lift the feet up to the wall, using hands on the ground to support you. Lower down, scooching the hips in close to the wall. Take time to set yourself up. Play around with the distance the hips are from the wall. Decide where you want to place your arms. Then let everything go as you hold here.
2. Straddle Variation – Start to slide the heels apart, towards the sides. Letting gravity do the work. Since you will be holding the pose for about 5 minutes, no need to push this too far right away. Find a nourishing position. Change the arm placement if you like.
3. Deer Variation – Bend the knees and bring the feet flat to the wall. Internally rotate the right hips, as if bringing the right knee to the wall and dropping the right foot to the floor. Walk the left foot a bit to the side. If this is painful, take a reclined pigeon version instead (with right ankle over left thigh and left foot on the wall).
Repeat on the other side.
4. Butterfly Variation – Bring the soles of the feet together and the knees apart. The heels might be higher or dropping down. Arms wherever you like.
5. Fetal Pose – Roll over to the right side, lowering off the bolster. Use the right arm to make a little pillow to support the head. Bend the knees in. Take a few moments here to integrate and feel the effects of the practice. Before slowly and carefully lifting back up.
This sequence comes from a half hour restorative practice I shared on YouTube and within my app.