YOMO Week 1 Restorative and Pranayama
Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Position)
Since it is standing pose week, there is no better restorative position for standing than Viparita Karani, most commonly called “Legs up the Wall”.
Other than a great rest for the legs, Viparita Karani is considered an inversion and can have some of the same benefits for the circulatory and nervous systems:
- Relieves tension headaches
- Allows lower back to spread and relax
- Relieves vericose veins and other circulatory issues in the legs and ankles
- Lowers blood pressure
- Renews and rejuvinates energy level
- This pose can be as easy as lying flat and taking legs up the wall with no support!
You may use a bolster height under the sacrum for a bit more support.
- Make sure to place bolster slightly off the wall (about a block distance)
- Sit on one end of the bolster and then swing your legs up the wall
- Bolster should give the natural curve to the lumbar spine, but not create tension
HINT: Your buttocks does not have to be flat to the wall. It will very much be determined by the length of your hamstrings. Other leg positions can also be played with in order to make it more accessible: legs wider, cross legs, or feet together and knees wide in Baddha Konasana.
Pranayama Ujjayi I (Simple Awareness of Breath)
- Lie down with chest supported on bolster or other height.
- Make sure to press elbows to floor and draw shoulder blades in for chest support before you fully relax your arms.
- Support your head to a point that your chin is gently tilted toward the lifted chest – you do not want your head dropping back with eyes agitated into the brain.
- Take glasses off and close eyes
- Breathe normally and try to observe your normal breath habits: short or long, shallow or deep, inhale easy or exhale easy, presence of tension, etc.
- If it is difficult to watch your normal breath, deepen the inhale and exhale only slightly in order to watch more closely and get more feedback.
- Stay and observe for at least 5 minutes.
- Roll gently to the side to sit back up.
Read more about Pranayama here