This is one of my least favorite poses for many reasons but mostly because I don’t like lying down by myself while I hear others doing their shoulder-stands and headstands. :( This is when I have to practice Ahimsa towards my body. I urge all my students to listen to their body and be nice to it. So what am I rambling about?

Viparita Karani Asana is the Legs up the wall pose. It is considered to be a restorative pose and a good substitute to the shoulderstand.

A good description of this asana can be found through this article in Yoga Journal. (Note: their pose has a bolster/blanket underneath.)

Instruction on how to do this pose (no props.):

  1. Sit on your mat right next to the wall. You may draw your knees towards your chest.
  2. Slowly lift your legs up to the wall while you lower your back to your mat. Use your elbows to support your self down.
  3. Put your hands away from your hips, palms facing up. (Stay in the pose)
  4. To come out of the pose, Hug your knees then roll to your side.

There are variations to this restorative pose.

  • Legs together straight up (what we usually do)
  • Legs in a V formation.
  • Legs in diamond shape (soles of the feet facing each other).
  • you may also use props like folded blankets or a bolster underneath you.


- Karen

* added gif of the pose. Note, you can bring your buttocks nearer to the wall. In the picture I’m kind of far from the wall.

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