Legs Up the Wall | Viparita Karani

Happy 2016 everyone! As we welcome in a new year, we have decided to change our pose of the week to a pose of the MONTH so that we have plenty of time to explore variations and really appreciate the pose we are focusing on. If you have any additional input, questions or comments – please post them below this post and we will be happy to get back to you.

January #IYPOM (Inspire Yoga Pose of the Month): Legs Up the Wall/Viparita Karani

This particular part of the year, we tend to get pretty goal-oriented in our yoga practice. We think, THIS will be the year I nail my handstand! …I practice every day! …I touch my toes! There’s nothing wrong with goals and I certainly think it’s important to be open for growth. However, if we practice too much of this goal-setting, it turns into expectations, which – in the end are limits. Whether these limits are ones that we fpotentially exceed or fall short of – they breed discontentment with who we are today, as is. I am of the firm belief that as long as you show up to your mat and you reconnect with your heartbeat and breath – that you are enough. I love how Jenny Laton puts it…

With all this in mind, I thought it might be a nice way to practice self-love in the new year to take a pose that is less effort-based and more ease-focused. Legs up the wall has oodles of benefits. These include, but are not limited to…restored lymph function, stress relief, healing for reproductive and abdominal organs, increased blood circulation. I love how Cindi Lee puts it in her article on the pose in Yoga Journal, “Its true greatness is that it teaches us experientially that positive results come from doing less, not more.” The gift of this pose is that you show up, breathe, and all the rest will take care of itself. May this be our mindset as we enter into this beautiful new year!

Set Up | Find a wall and sit with it at one side of you. Begin to lay back onto your spine and then swing the legs up the wall. Your hips should be nestled close to or up against the wall. 

Photo courtesy of Nancy Nelson
Photo courtesy of Nancy Nelson

Foundation | You can set yourself up grounded or elevated.

On a blanket
Grounded on a blanket
Elevated on a bolster
Elevated on a bolster

Variations | Feel free to use any of these variations. There are lots of ways to set yourself up here! 

Variation: Place a blanket on the feet to encourage a grounding sensation in the pose.
Variation: Place a blanket on the feet to encourage a grounding sensation in the pose.
Variation: Butterfly Legs
Variation: Butterfly Legs
Variation: Straddle Legs
Variation: Straddle Legs

Rest in the pose for 3-5 minutes to start. Each time you practice it this month, see if you can increase the time by 1-2 minutes. The longer you stay, the more benefits you reap! 


A new #IYPOM (Inspire Yoga Pose of the Month) is introduced on our Instagram the first day of each month. You are then invited to join in with us by posting your own interpretation of the pose and a short thought or inspiration that you receive from the particular posture that month. Make sure to use hashtag #IYPOM so we can see your pictures! Each month, one person (who shared and hashtagged) will be chosen to win an exclusive Inspire Yoga merchandise prize!

All you have to do is be willing to share! 

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