I love rejuvenating poses.
They are the balm for the chaos and craziness of life and on the days I feel road weary, scattered and tired I go for the poses that force me to slow it all down. I find I can breathe and really stop to disconnect from the outside and allow myself to connect to the beauty and the peace inside.
Hello restorative yoga!
Here’s my hands down favorite Viparita Karani also known as ‘Legs Up the Wall’ pose. It can be done literally ANYWHERE there is a wall or some sort of support for your legs (as they will be ‘up the wall’ or porch railing or hotel room wall or your office wall or…you get the picture).
Using a bolster and a strap makes the pose extra good but again, you don’t have to have these items to make the pose work.
Here’s the Viparita Karani scoop…
Bring a bolster and a strap over to a wall space. If you don’t have a bolster, you can take a folded blanket and roll it up and if you don’t have a strap, you can use a necktie.
Lay the bolster against the wall with the widest side closest to the wall where you can easily reach it. Now, this is the tricky part. You want to get your booty (bum, bottom, glutes, etc) as close to the wall as possible. Then you want to make sure the entire back length of your legs are straight up the wall. It will require a bit of ‘scootching’ and sliding. Once you are situated, bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the wall. Lift your pelvis and slide the bolster under your sacrum. This feels oh so yummy! It creates a small backbend and opens the rib cage and heart area.
Now to make it even more fabulous and restorative, make a lasso with your strap large enough to encompass both of your feet. Tighten the strap around your feet. You can opt to wrap the tail end of the strap around your shins several times for a little extra security. The idea is to be able to relax and let your feet go without them falling apart.
Place your arms into a ‘cactus’ like shape with bent elbows or let your arm be wide with palms up like a starfish. Place an eye pillow on over your eyes (see the infamous eye pillow recipe here).
Let go of any striving and allow yourself to lie here for 5-15 minutes and simply be.
To exit, bend your knees, remove your strap, slide the bolster out from underneath your sacrum and roll gently onto your side.
Take a moment to sit still and upright after the pose and feel where you are. This is important. You’ll find the mind will be slower and calmer, the physical body relaxed and your spirit refreshed.