Cooling Down

Fall is creeping closer, but we still have some hot days ahead of us. It's easy to get overheated from the temperatures outside and all the craziness of back-to-school and changing seasons ahead of us. Personally, with a loaded fall calendar coming up and a looming to-do list, I am really feeling the heat. 

I'd love to share with you a simple pose I often do when I'm feeling overheated or overwhelmed (or both). Legs-up-the-wall! I especially love doing this before I go to bed to help release the events from the day and help me feel more grounded and ready for sleep. I also use this pose for meditation as an alternative to a traditional seated posture. Sometimes I just really need to relax and quiet my body before I can even start to quiet my mind. (They really are connected after all!) There's also a whole slew of ailments which this supposedly helps with too. Legs-up-the-wall has done wonders for me, but like with anything, do what's best and feels good for you. 

 It can be a bit awkward to get into the pose: First place a meditation cushion or folded blanket about 6 inches away from a wall. Then sit one side on one hip on the cushion with your butt facing the wall so that your legs are running straight along the edge of the floor. Lay back and swing your legs up the wall. Make sure your lower back is centered on the cushion and your shoulders and head are on the floor.  You've made it! Now for the best part: close your eyes and take slow deep breaths allowing the mind to quiet. 

It can be a bit awkward to get into the pose: First place a meditation cushion or folded blanket about 6 inches away from a wall. Then sit one side on one hip on the cushion with your butt facing the wall so that your legs are running straight along the edge of the floor. Lay back and swing your legs up the wall. Make sure your lower back is centered on the cushion and your shoulders and head are on the floor.

You've made it! Now for the best part: close your eyes and take slow deep breaths allowing the mind to quiet. 

 For an added stretch, you can try bringing your arms above your head or straight out wide to the sides if that feels nice. Feel the hours of working at a computer screen melt away.    Another option is to lose the meditation cushion or blanket out from underneath you and instead place the cushion/blanket over your abdomen. This can really help with fostering a sense of grounding especially if dealing with trauma or heightened anxiety.  To come down, reverse how you got into the pose by lowering your legs off to one side and slide your body off the meditation cushion onto the floor, then you can slowly lift your upper body and sit up. 

For an added stretch, you can try bringing your arms above your head or straight out wide to the sides if that feels nice. Feel the hours of working at a computer screen melt away.  

Another option is to lose the meditation cushion or blanket out from underneath you and instead place the cushion/blanket over your abdomen. This can really help with fostering a sense of grounding especially if dealing with trauma or heightened anxiety.

To come down, reverse how you got into the pose by lowering your legs off to one side and slide your body off the meditation cushion onto the floor, then you can slowly lift your upper body and sit up. 

feet-up-the-wall2.jpg

 

 

*If you're wondering how to do this correctly, asking a yoga teacher in person is a great way to prevent injury and figure out which variations and props are best for you! This is not recommended for pregnant women to lift your hips up: try this pose without the cushion underneath. And lifting your hips up like this for women who are actively menstruating is controversial , but doing this without the cushion or blanket is a great alternative. This pose should be avoided if you have glaucoma.*