– relieves tiredness in the legs
– refreshes the brain and heart
– improves circulation and releases tight hamstrings when done regularly
– thought to be helpful for relieving varicose veins
High blood pressure, hypertension, glaucoma.
Sounds simple, and it is. If you feel tightness in the backs of your legs at first, you don’t need to have your legs right on the wall to receive many of the benefits. Just be as close to the wall as you can, without feeling strain in the backs of the knees, and make sure your body is evenly placed, rather than crooked. Support your head with a thinly folded blanket or towel if you need so that you can rest your eyes downward easily.
Close your eyes or use an eye pillow, and quietly observe your natural way of breathing, allowing the breath to slow down if that happens naturally. Stay for 10 minutes to feel wonderfully rested and refreshed, or come out earlier at first if your feet tingle and build up the duration slowly.
If you do this pose regularly, not only will it become easier to get your legs right up to the wall, you’ll also strengthen the relaxation response that comes with the pose.
With the extra height of a bolster placed precisely under the hips, the inversion increases and this pose becomes the classic yoga pose Viparita Karani. I suggest you ask your local yoga teacher or visit http://www.yogajournal.com/ for a more in-depth description of Viparita Karani and its benefits and contraindications.
Viparita Karani is one of my favourite poses because it’s so effective when I’m feeling physically or mentally tired.
For more on Restorative Yoga poses including full instructions and pictures, come and visit me at http://alisoneastland.com/category/restorative-yoga-poses/