Monday, June 15, 2009

Legs up the Wall ~ Option 3

Enjoy a Dynamic Legs up the Wall Pose

If you would like to add a little more movement to Legs up the Wall pose you can practice the #4 Hip Stretch.

Coming into the pose:
We start off the same as Legs up the Wall. Sit down on the floor with one hip pressed right up against the wall. As you start to lay back, you must also swing your body around so your bottom is towards the wall. When you are turned tail to the wall, start to extend your legs up the wall.

Settling into the pose:
Once you are in Legs up the Wall pose you can add a dynamic stretch by crossing one ankle over the other knee and then drawing the legs down the wall towards the body.

Step by step it looks like this:
Keeping the pelvis steady (no rocking or shifting), cross the right ankle over the the left knee. Keep the right toes flexed (drawing back towards the R knee) to protect the right knee. If your tail is curling up or you can't cross your R ankle over your L knee without shifting or rocking, you are too close to the wall. Uncross your legs and push yourself back from the wall a little. Cross your ankle again and check your alignment. If you are already getting a hip stretch in the right hip stay here and breathe. If you would like to deepen the pose start to draw the left leg down the wall (keeping the R toes flexed). This will bring both legs closer to the torso and increase the hip stretch on the R side.

Let yourself soften here. Watch your breath. Let the belly rise and fall naturally with the breath. Try to maintain a neutral spine. I like to think about sending the tailbone towards the wall and the crown of the head away from the wall. If your low back is pressing firmly against the floor you may need to back off the the wall a little bit more or use a small bolster to keep the natural curve of the spine. Let the arms rest out to the sides, palms up. Stay here for as long as you are comfortable.

Switching sides:
Let the left leg slide back up the wall, uncross the right ankle (no rocking in the pelvis), extend both legs up the wall, then repeat on the 2nd side.

Getting out of the pose:
Take both legs back to Legs up the Wall pose. When you are ready to come out, bend your knees, roll to one side, take a few breaths, then gently push yourself back up to a seated position.