Friday, July 19, 2013

Legs on the wall pose

from Susan McLaughlin,

PictureThe dot is on the pubis, and the pelvis is in posterior rotation.
Legs on the wall pose is a restorative position that should be a staple for every person that has a pelvis! Traditionally, the pose is taught by placing the butt close to the wall, and then bringing the legs up against the wall so the back of the legs touch, and the soles of the feet are facing the ceiling.  A variation to the pose is to widen the legs into a "V" position to stretch the inner thighs and groin.

Recently I have rediscovered the beauty of this pose by modifying the position to be able to maintain neutral pelvis (pubis and ASIS in line) and rib alignment.  The benefit of maintaining the alignment markers during this pose allows the connective tissue and muscles to fully release.  When the alignment markers are not in place, there is more load to the tissues which can potentially maintain tension, and prevent a full yield ("letting go") of the muscles and fascia.

In order to do this pose in alignment, you may need to get out props.  Due to the tightness of my psoas muscles and the increased kyphosis of my thoracic spine, I have used a thin yoga mat rolled up to maintain neutral pelvis: pubis and ASIS level, and a half cylinder & block to prop up my upper back to get my lower ribs down and flush with my abdomen. In order to get my pelvis level, I needed to scoot away from the wall, get the props set up, and then place my legs on the wall (see pics below).

Benefits to Legs on the Wall Pose:
  • Gently stretches the back of the legs, inner thighs and low back to relieve aches and pains
  • Improves lymphatic/venous return from the feet and legs 
  • Eases stress/anxiety
  • Alleviates symptoms of menstrual cramps, PMS and menopause 
  • Relieves swollen ankles and varicose veins

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