Kids year 12 exams on the horizon, work place environment not pleasant, traffic everywhere, not enough time in the day, challenging relationships…
What’s driving you up the wall?
I know I’m not the only one who’s used the phrase “he/she/it’s driving me up the wall!” Sound familiar?
Usually when we get to the stage of saying things like this we’re trying keep the stresses of our outer world at bay and have bought into the belief that external circumstances have control and are making us feel uncomfortable.
In fact, what we are really doing is driving ourselves up the wall with our unhelpful internal dialogue and beliefs. Well, today I’d like to show you how to use that wall to give you the opposite effect! We are going to use the wall to bring mental, emotional and physical relief.
It’s quick, simple and free!!
As you know I’m a Yoga and meditation teacher and a huge advocate of the benefits of Yoga for managing mental, emotional and physical stress. What I’m about to show you addresses your total well-being in a matter of minutes.
Here’s how you get the benefit of inverted postures without standing on your head!!
What equipment do I need?
As with most things Yogic, you need minimal equipment you can do it anywhere and it’s totally free. If you like use a blanket or your Yoga mat to lie on and a cushion for your head but these are not essential.
Legs Up the Wall posture is exactly as it sounds! Lie on your back and move into position with your sit-bones as close to the wall as is comfortable for you. Extend your legs up the wall, so that the backs of your legs are resting fully against it.
Choose a position that’s comfortable for you
If having your legs straight and your hips close to the wall is too much then simply move your hips away from the wall and bend your legs. To gain the most benefit work up to relaxing in this position for 10 to 15 minutes, but if you don’t have time just 2 or 3 minutes will be a great help.
Health benefits of Legs Up the Wall posture
Those of you who practice Yoga will know how good inversions are for you! True inversion postures position your heart higher than your head. However not everyone has the dexterity to enjoy them. Legs up the wall offers you many of the benefits of inverted poses without the effort.
Soothing to the nervous system
This posture is deeply nourishing and relaxing and enables your body to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system. In this state, your body heals and repairs, blood pressure comes down and the digestive system works well. Combining this pose with slow deep breathing helps the regenerative processes of the body to activate.
When you practice this pose regularly over time you may notice that your body feels healthier and that you are better able to find a peaceful, composed state of mind during your busy life.
Calming for the mind
Your body feels very safe and supported in this position. You will be able to surrender and let go very easily. Once the body is relaxed the mind will more easily follow, so it’s good to do if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. During my meditation courses I teach people to welcome all thoughts and emotions and that is exactly what we are doing here. We are not trying to force ourselves to feel happy but simply be with our full range of emotion. Concentrating on your breath will then calm the mind even more as you fall into a meditative state.
Blood to the brain!
Because the forces of gravity improve blood circulation, blood flow to the brain is increased, this provides the brain with more oxygen which in turn allows it to work more efficiently. This increased circulation in your cranium allows the full potential of your cognitive function to be realised.
Circulation is important for good health and being in an inverted position helps reverse the effects of gravity on your whole system. It helps to regulate blood pressure, improve digestion and enables waste, stuck or stagnant fluids from the legs and feet to drain more effectively. If you spend a lot of time on your feet this is the perfect way to help release tension from the legs, feet and even the hips.
Lying flat on your back with your legs lifted and supported takes an enormous amount of work out of the back, hips and legs. Being in this position enables the overworked muscles of the buttock muscles and lower back to completely relax and the vertebrae of the spine to settle and reorganise themselves into alignment. With the chest open and the arms away from the body this position draws you away from the habitual forward slouch that occurs when a lot of time is spent at a desk. This open chested relaxed position also facilitates full and easy breathing.
Let’s face it when you’re lying flat on your back with your legs up the wall there is little else to do but relax and enjoy some quiet “me” time! Before you know it you’ll be making it a regular part of your week.
Roll over onto your hands and knees and slowly bring yourself back to sitting then standing, feeling refreshed and calm.
So, don’t drive yourself up the wall, instead use this simple technique as often as you can for a few moments of respite. You’re mental, emotional and physical body will thank you!
Always check with your medical health professional if you are in any doubt about undertaking any form of exercise.
Integrative Restoration® Meditation
8 Week Introductory Course
30 Aug–1 Nov (inc. a 2 week break for school holidays)
The What, Why and How of Meditation
Saturday 16 September
1pm – 5pm