Benefits Of Legs Up The Wall

As with any yoga posture, there are some risks associated with doing legs up the wall. Avoid the pose if you have been diagnosed with the following conditions.

What to Know About Legs-Up-the-Wall Yoga Pose

Yoga is a mindful practice that helps you relieve stress and improve flexibility. Yoga can be as intense and involved or therapeutic and relaxing as you’d like. The Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, also known as viparita karani, inverts the body without straining the head or neck. This pose is excellent for reducing stress and anxiety, and it is easy for beginners.

What Are the Legs-Up-the-Wall Yoga Pose Benefits?

The Legs-Up-the-Wall pose has plenty of therapeutic benefits, from relieving stress to reducing headaches. To get the most from the pose, practice it once or twice a day. You can do the pose alone or use it in your regular yoga practice.

The main benefits of the Legs-Up-the-Wall pose are:

  • Deep relaxation
  • Stress relief
  • Knee pain reduction
  • Tension relief in the neck
  • Alleviates tired legs
  • Calms your mind
  • Relieves leg and feet cramps
  • Helps with backaches
  • Softly opens the backs of your legs

Anxiety relief. Viparita karani is an easy inversion pose that’s quiet and calming. It helps your nervous system and doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your neck and head. The Legs-Up-the-Wall is a “non-doing” pose that’s all about relaxing your body and letting go of the tension you’ve been carrying.

Improved circulation. Legs-Up-the-Wall is good for reducing leg swelling. When you stand or sit all day, your legs can swell because your body isn’t circulating blood well. Holding your legs up in this position helps ease discomfort and keep your blood from pooling and staying in your legs. Practicing the pose reduces your risk for blood clots.

Additional benefits. The overall benefits from the de-stressing effects of this pose can help you feel better. There are claims that viparita karani can help relieve headaches or reduce high blood pressure.

How Is the Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose Done?

Below you’ll find easy step-by-step directions to get into the viparita karani pose:

  1. Sit on the floor with your feet on the ground and your left side against a flat wall.
  2. Slowly lower your back to the floor and put your feet flat against the wall.
  3. Gently wiggle your body closer to the wall until your sit bones are against the wall and your legs are vertically above you with both legs above your hips. You can rest your head against the floor.
  4. Put your pelvis in a neutral position.
  5. Relax your face and neck and rest your hands on your belly or beside you on the floor.
  6. Relax all parts of your body while keeping your legs propped up against the wall.
  7. You can stay in the posture for 10 to 15 minutes or whatever’s comfortable for you.

You can modify this pose by putting a towel under your neck for extra support if your neck is sore. To get a deeper stretch, bend your knees against the wall and bring your feet together, making a “V” shape.

If you’re feeling pins and needles in your legs, bend your legs and hug your knees to your chest. Once the tingling stops, you can re-enter the pose.

To come out of the viparita karani pose, pull your knees into your chest and roll to one side. Rest for a moment, then slowly sit up. Shake out your legs before standing to help balance your blood flow.

Who Shouldn’t Do Viparita Karani Pose?

Like any yoga pose, some risks come with the Legs-Up-the-Wall pose. You should avoid adding this pose to your yoga flow if you have the following:

Glaucoma. The pressure shifts in this pose can cause fluid pressure in your eyes. This position puts an unnecessary strain on your eyes. Once out of the position, the pressure should return to normal after sitting up.

Excessive fluid retention. If you have a condition that causes extra fluid in your body, avoid this pose. Or get permission from your doctor. The excess fluid in your body could go back down to your heart, putting strain on it. These conditions include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure

Unmanaged high blood pressure. This pose can increase your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you don’t want to put more strain on your body. You can practice this pose after talking with your doctor and stabilizing your blood pressure.

Consult your doctor about doing the pose if you are pregnant or have:

  • Heart problems
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Spinal disorders
  • Retinal detachment

Show Sources

Amrit Yoga Institute: “3 Yoga Poses for Anxiety Relief.”

Australian School of Meditation & Yoga: “Legs up the Wall – Viparita Karani.”

Cleveland Clinic: “The Yoga Pose You Need: The Health Benefits of Legs Up the Wall.”

See also  Headache Behind Left Eye

The Art of Living: “Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani).”

The Yoga Institute: “Viparitakarani.”

The Yoga Pose You Need: The Health Benefits of Legs Up the Wall

yoga position Legs Up On Wall

If thinking about yoga brings to mind images of backbends and headstands, think again. You don’t have to be a yoga die-hard or even particularly flexible to reap the benefits of simpler, more accessible poses. One of them is viparita karani, often referred to as legs-up-the-wall pose, which is exactly as it sounds: Your torso and head lie flat on the ground while your legs are inverted up a wall.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Robert Saper, MD, MPH, Chair of Wellness and Preventive Medicine, talks about what legs-up-the-wall pose can do for your body and how to safely execute it, whether or not you’re a yogi in training.

Health benefits of legs-up-the-wall pose (viparita karani)

Legs-up-the-wall pose is one of several yoga poses known as inversion poses. “This means that the upper body is inverted from its normal, upright position,” Dr. Saper explains. Other examples include downward-facing dog, shoulder stands and headstands.

In Sanskrit, viparita means “inverted” and karani translates to “in action.” When you do legs-up-the-wall pose, then, you’re in an active inversion position. With your legs above the rest of your body, gravity gets to work on them in a way it simply can’t for most of the day.

And legs-up-the-wall pose is accessible even to people who aren’t able to do other inversion poses. “The advantage of legs up the wall compared to a headstand or shoulder stand is that you’re able to achieve the benefits of inversion without stressing or straining your neck and head,” Dr. Saper explains. He cautions that anyone with chronic neck pain or any disorders of the spine in the neck region should not do shoulder stands or headstands.

He outlines the potential health benefits of legs-up-the-wall pose.

It improves circulation

A common cause of leg swelling is venous insufficiency when your leg veins don’t effectively circulate blood from your legs back up toward your heart. Weak circulation is associated with blood pooling and retention of blood in your legs, which can raise your chances of blood clots — and, at the very least, some swelling and discomfort.

Even if you don’t have chronic venous insufficiency, standing or sitting all day may limit your body’s ability to easily circulate blood back up your body. But legs up the wall can help.

“The main benefit of viparita karani is that it puts back into circulation the bodily fluids stored in your legs,” Dr. Saper explains. “By inverting and holding that pose, it allows the return of blood flow and reduction of lower-leg swelling.”

It can help you de-stress

Research shows that yoga can, in general, have a positive impact on your body’s stress response systems, and restorative yoga poses like legs up the wall are intended to guide your body into a state of relaxation.

“Many patients describe anecdotally they find holding the pose is very calming,” Dr. Saper says. De-stressing is associated with better overall physical and mental health, and even a stronger immune system.

It could have additional benefits

If legs up the wall helps you relax, it may indeed help you feel better overall — but beware any sweeping claims that it’s some sort of cure-all, Dr. Saper warns. “Some people claim that it alleviates other conditions such as headaches and high blood pressure, but there’s no evidence of that.”

How often to do legs up the wall

“As a researcher of yoga and a yoga instructor, I recommend this pose as part of an overall restorative yoga practice, done toward the end of your practice,” Dr. Saper says.

The pose is safe to do as often as once or twice a day, whether as part of your regular yoga practice or as a stand-alone pose.

How to master legs-up-the-wall pose

“Initially, you should be instructed by a yoga teacher to make sure that you’re doing it safely and not straining your neck head or spine,” Dr. Saper advises. “But it’s relatively easy to do.” You can also learn from online yoga videos.

Here’s how to do legs-up-the-wall pose:

  1. Ready your props: Place a blanket or yoga mat on the floor, next to the wall, and use a thin pillow for your head if needed.
  2. Get in position: Lie down on the blanket or mat with your buttocks scooted up toward the wall. Your tailbone should remain on the floor, with your buttocks a few inches out from the wall. “Your back and head are simply aligned on the floor perpendicular to the wall, relaxed,” Dr. Saper explains.
  3. Feel the stretch: The backs of your legs should rest against the wall, with your knees relaxed and your feet parallel to the floor below. You should feel a light stretch in your legs, but it should not be painful.
  4. Take it easy: Relax and breathe deeply as you hold the pose. “I recommend holding it for a similar length as other yoga poses — anywhere up to two to three minutes,” Dr. Saper says. You can do it for longer, though, if you’d like.
  5. Come out of the pose slowly: When you’re done, move carefully into a seated position and sit quietly for at least 30 seconds. “You don’t want to rapidly come out of out of an inversion pose,” Dr. Saper wants.
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Who shouldn’t try legs up the wall

As with any yoga posture, there are some risks associated with doing legs up the wall. Avoid the pose if you have been diagnosed with the following conditions.


Inversion poses like legs up the wall have been shown to increase intraocular pressure — the fluid pressure within your eyes — making them unsafe for people with glaucoma. “The pressure comes back down to normal after you resume a normal sitting position,” Dr. Saper says, “but if you have glaucoma, the pose should not be done at all.”

Conditions that cause excessive fluid retention

People with specific conditions that cause excessive fluid volume in their bodies should also largely stay away from legs up the wall. “They should either not do this pose, or do it very sparingly with guidance from their physician because there’s such a large amount of fluid that could be returned to the circulation it could strain the heart,” Dr. Saper says. These conditions include:

  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Liver failure or cirrhosis.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure

If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, you’ll also want to avoid legs up the wall, as this pose can further increase your blood pressure. But feel free to revisit it after working with a doctor to stabilize your blood pressure.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Legs up the Wall for 20 minutes can do miracles for you

Legs up the Wall for 20 minutes can do miracles for you

The Legs against the wall pose, also known as Inverted Lake or Viparita Karani in Sanskrit, is a simple yet miraculous yoga pose. In this article, we are going to discuss the steps to perform it and numerous health benefits.

It is all simple science related to this pose. Your body gets shaken up and gets better rejuvenated, giving good results and a calm mind.

How to get the Legs up the wall pose right?

Place a folded blanket a few inches from the wall. The distance of your placement from the wall will depend on tightness and height; try a few different places, and get comfortable!

Lie down on the floor by rolling your hips onto the blanket. Now you have to adjust your body against the wall by raising your legs.

Basically, your heels are touching the wall. Practice deep and steady breathing. Don’t exert or stress yourself.

Your head should be on the floor, while the spine should be straight, and knees should be bent a little so that the knee caps won’t lock.

Stay in the same pose for 15 to 20minutes. After you come out of this restorative pose, be sure to lie on your side for a few breaths before sitting upright with your back against the wall, then slowly rising to your feet.

For more intensity, you may place a sandbag on the feet and be ready to feel grounded!


If you have any discomfort in your lower back, adjust your body slightly back from the wall so that your sitting bones are not touching it.

When positioning your support, you must consider its height and its distance from the wall. Be honest with yourself to avoid straining any muscles! Your support should be lower to the ground and farther from the wall if you are not very flexible.

If you are flexible, keep your support higher and closer to the wall. Your sitting bones do not need to be against the wall, rather “dripping” down into the space between the wall and your support. Keep a gentle arc in your torso from the pubis to the top of the shoulders.

While your neck feels strained, place a small, rolled-up towel under it. Cover your eyes with the other towel and keep them closed for 5 – 15 minutes as you soften and release.

Rest your arms out to your sides. Open your shoulder blades away from the spine, relaxing your hands and wrists (1).

It is advised for the ladies to avoid Legs Up the Wall Pose and inversions in general during menstruation.

The health benefits

This pose is very relaxing and is believed to help in almost all aspects of the body and mind, from tight hips and hamstrings to stress and anxiety.

  • Since you are almost upside down in this pose, your abdominal organs get more active, and the movement stimulates them. As a result, your appetite also increases through this stimulation, which improves digestion.
  • This posture’s restorative nature gets the blood flowing to parts of the body that need it, making it good for almost any ailment, including arthritis, high or low blood pressure, respiratory ailments, and menopause.
  • Your blood circulation gets stimulated, and your head plus upper body receives a stronger blood flow, which supplies better oxygen.
  • It prevents the thickening of the blood and other blood-related issues, including high blood pressure.

Some other benefits includes;

  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Relieves swollen ankles and varicose veins
  • It is recommended for curing headaches and even migraine.
  • Helps testicular, semen, and ovarian problems in men and women, respectively
  • Restores tired feet or legs
  • Stretches the back of the neck, front torso, and back of the legs
  • Improves problems of the eyes and ears
  • Relieves mild backache
  • It helps to calm your mind and relieve anxiety, mild depression, and insomnia.

My words

Old Indian scriptures claim this mild inversion is known for a wide range of health benefits and its anti-aging effects that hide wrinkles and help keep you young and vital.

Legs Up the Wall Pose is a passive pose meant to be in for a while. This pose is done towards the end of the YOGA session.

Initially, it will be difficult for you to sustain for 15 to 20 minutes. Try to listen to your favorite podcaster or YouTuber or pumping music while doing this pose. I’m damn sure it will be easy going 20 minutes.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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