Why Legs Up The Wall Pose Is Awesome and You Should Do It Everyday

Jul 13 · 3 min read

I’ve always been attracted to jobs that keep me on my feet all day, if not standing, running around like my hair is on fire.

I spent the better part of eleven years in the service industry, working the floor at busy restaurants or spending hours at a time running back and forth behind a bar. I was also a ski instructor for a few years, which is an entirely different way of being constantly on my feet.

I am all too familiar with the dull ache that appears in your lower back after these sorts of days, as well as the tension that builds up all around your legs and the cramps in your feet at night.

Even at my job now, as a massage therapist, I’m on my feet, up and down, all day. I still sometimes feel the leg tension, the tightness in the hamstrings, the soreness of the hips, knees, and ankles that come on at the end of a particularly long day.

Even desk work can have its effect on the legs; staying stagnant all day with your psoas in a contracted position may make the lower back hurt, the hamstrings tense up, and the ankles swell.

At the end of the day, there are many things you can do to relieve the tension and help your sore muscles and tired brain unwind, but I’m going to tell you about a personal favorite. This yoga-inspired pose (well, actually called Vipariata Karani in yoga, if you’re into it) is particularly good for those that are on their feet all day but will also provide benefits to anybody, even if a computer job is your jam. It’s called Legs Up The Wall, and it is absolutely as easy as it sounds.


Find a space next to an open wall in your home, lie on your back, and rest your legs straight up against the wall. You’ll want to keep your pelvis a couple of inches from the wall instead of being at a straight 90-degree angle or elevate your hips on a pillow or blanket, to ensure solid blood flow between your upper and lower body. Once you have yourself situated in this pose, rest as long as it feels good. Stop when you begin to feel strained, or your body is telling you enough.

This pose is awesome, easy, and here are the reasons why…

  • Legs up the wall regulates blood flow by increasing circulation and venous drainage. This pose promotes blood flow back to the brain and heart through the facilitation of gravity.
  • This pose can release swelling and cramps that occur in the legs and ankles. Cramps can happen if you are on your feet a lot, and swelling can happen if you happen to sit a lot, or if you just were on a long flight or car ride. If you feel the tension in your hips or pelvis as well, try putting a folded blanket, pillow, or yoga block under your hips to elevate them slightly for extra relief in that area.
  • Legs up the wall relieves tension in the lower back by reducing the curve of your lumbar spine and elongating the muscles of your back. If you shimmy closer to the wall, if that feels comfortable for you, you’ll find yourself getting an even deeper hamstring stretch; tight hamstrings contribute to lower back pain through pulling your pelvis into an anterior tilt, so if you find yourself suffering from both lower back pain and tight hammies, give this a try as a gentle means to open up that part of your posterior chain.
  • Combine this pose with slow, rhythmic breathing for a calming effect on your nervous system. This pose can slow down the heart rate and trigger the rest-and-digest portion of your autonomic nervous system (your parasympathetic nervous system for all you physiology-terminology loving folks).

There are a couple of contraindications to this pose as advised by yoga professionals. If you suffer from hypertension, glaucoma, or hernia, don’t do this pose unless you consult with a medical professional.

Start easy: If it feels tiring to keep your legs in this position, position your pelvis a couple of inches from the wall, and only scoot closer as you feel your body can handle it. Listen to your body, if you begin to feel tired or strained, give it a rest for the night.

This pose is awesome, relaxing, easy, and has benefits no matter what you spend your days doing. If you get twenty thousand steps behind a busy bar at work, or if you sit stagnated at a computer for long hours, come home, find your favorite spot on the wall, and throw your legs up there. See how it feels, it may end up being your favorite post-work routine.

Leave a Comment

If you enjoyed this article or recipe, please consider giving it a comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From Revivified