Our body is not meant to sit for 8 hours a day; nor is it meant to stand for 8 hours a day. As resilient as our bodies are, these two simple poses can be very taxing on multiple parts of the body. But by taking as little as 5 minutes a day to restore the negative affects that sitting or standing can have, your body and mind will thank you!
Legs Up The Wall
Lying on your back with your legs extended comfortably up the wall, this restorative exercise has a number of positive benefits for body and mind. If you are new to this, you can support your pelvis with a pillow or a folded blanket, which will help you to relax into the position for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Any time we are standing or sitting for long periods of time, your body has to work extra hard to pump blood, lymph, and extra fluids back to the heart. By offering your legs up the wall at a 90-degree angle gravity can help flush those fluids back to your heart. Improving your circulation in such a way will help you recover faster from your workouts, improve the condition and appearance of varicose veins, control blood pressure (if that third cup of coffee and scone is still circulating from the afternoon), relieve tired and cramping feet, gently stretches the hamstrings and lower back, and will support a stronger immune system. ‘Legs up the wall’ is also indicated for symptoms of premenstrual syndromes, menstrual crams and menopause.
Whether you do this exercise by yourself, or in a busy room at home, legs up the wall relaxes the nervous system and calms the mind. It’s a gentle inversion that eases anxiety and stress, headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, and in some studies mild depression.