Viparita Karani: Legs Up The Wall Pose
Viparita karani (vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee) is a gentle restorative pose. This slightly inverted pose can ease busy mind chatter and may relieve uncomfortable symptoms like tension and menstrual cramps. You may enjoy practicing this pose with a block, folded blanket, or pillow under your hips to lift your hips above the plane of your heart.
- Viparita: reversed/inverted
- Karani: doing/action
- Relieves tired feet and legs.
- Gently stretches the hamstrings and legs.
- Can relieve discomfort in the lower back.
- Thought to calm the mind.
- Thought to ease symptoms of anxiety and stress.
- Shoulder stand on the wall
- Dragonfly on the wall
- Figure four on the wall
- Place a pillow, bolster, or folded blanket under your hips to release the hamstrings and low back.
- Gently lower your feet out to the sides so your legs make a wide “V” shape for dragonfly on the wall.
- Place a rolled up blanket under your neck for additional support.
- Loop a strap around your thighs to allow the legs to relax more deeply.
- Begin seated beside an open wall, with your hip and shoulder against the wall.
- Gently lower your torso down to the ground as your legs lift up against the wall.
- Option to wiggle closer to or further away from the wall to your comfort level.
- Option to place a block, pillow, or folded blanket under your hips to release any discomfort in the low back or hamstrings.
- Allow your head to rest on the ground or a pillow and place your arms wherever they are most comfortable.
- Stay anywhere from one to 15 minutes.
- To release, push the bottoms of your feet into the wall and lift your hips slightly. If using a support, move the support out of the way. Gently roll to one side and stay for a few breaths before returning to your seat.
Utkatasana: Chair Pose
A challenging pose with hidden benefits, utkatasana (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna) works your body inside and out. Aside from strengthening your legs, this powerful pose also improves the health of your diaphragm and stimulates your heart. Practicing regularly will not only increase your physical endurance, it also encourages your chest and arms to open, creating more space in your body energetically.
Philosophy + Origin
While sitting in a chair is a common act for most of us today, chairs were once, and in some locations still are, considered a luxury. A throne in particular is a seat of power, one assumed by leaders around the world. The pose utkatasana, translated to mean powerful pose, invites individuals to sit on their throne, their seat of power. Embracing the challenge of the pose, and recognizing the strength that is generated when assumed thoughtfully and in proper alignment (physically and spiritually), you can begin to refine all aspects of your life, allowing yourself to step into roles of leadership and responsibility with clarity and confidence.