This is the latest article in our yoga central series and today we will be looking at a pose known as Legs up the wall Pose or deep lake pose. We will look at how to properly carry out the pose, the benefits you can get from it and anything that you need to consider before beginning. Please read the entire article before trying the pose.
How to Carry Out the Pose
We have put together instructions on how to carry out the pose correctly however there are also a number of modifications that can be done to make the pose easier as well as deeper. These modifications will be found lower in the article.
1. Begin the pose by placing two folded blankets on top of each other about a foot from a wall. If you dont have any blankets you can use a couple of pillows.
2. Sit sideways on the blankets and swing your legs around so that they are up the wall and lie back over the blankets. You should position yourself so that your sit bones are over the edge of the blanket and your sacrum is fully supported.
3. Ensure your legs are straight and use an eye mask to increase the relaxation. Position your arms straight out from the shoulders and close your eyes.
4. Bring your attention to your breathing, particularly in your stomach and use this pose to bring about a deep feeling of relaxation in your stomach. Allow your stomach to sink into the back body and allow your back to relax completely into the blankets.
5. Remain in this position for 2 to 3 minutes continuing to focus on your breathing. To come out of the pose slide the blankets out from under your back and roll on to your side to come up into a seated position.
Tips and Precautions
If you feel discomfort in your lower back when carrying out this pose, move your body back so that your sit bones are fully supported by the blankets. If you still feel discomfort then remove one blanket.
If you have difficulty straightening your legs then move the blankets further away from the wall until you can straighten your legs. You legs may also get tired doing this pose so you can reduce the difficulty by bending your legs, bringing the soles of your feet together and sliding your legs down the wall. You can do this if your legs get tired part way through or if you have difficulties and discomfort keeping your legs straight.
Benefits and Focus
There are a large number of benefits to this pose and many of them are the same as those experienced with more complicated inverted poses. The main areas of focus are the abdomen and lower back with the aim of bringing about a deep feeling of relaxation. This feeling of relaxation can help with various different conditions including stress, anxiety and insomnia. It can also help with relieving stress and tension in your upper back which can be beneficial for conditions like headaches. This is mainly due to the fact that headaches can be caused by tension in the upper back. This can be a great pose to practise before going to bed and can really encourage a deep a restful nights sleep.
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Yoga is a very ancient form of exercise that has come into vogue these years because increasing numbers of people are realizing that it is a very powerful tool to beat stress and to sustain health. Yoga is also very effective at regularizing various processes of the body and also at delaying the onset of aging. There are various types of Yoga that you could practice and they all have very different emphasis and therefore different effects on the body. In case you have to choose between Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga, you do have to know more about each type of Yoga before you proceed.
Hatha Yoga dates back to the 15th century and it is this type of Yoga that is most familiar to people in the United States as regular Yoga. Yoga consists of lots of asanas or positions that a person has to follow in addition to doing regulated breathing exercises. The combined use of stretching and breathing control exercises is crucial to regulate blood circulation and metabolism, and this in turn helps you to control high blood pressure and diabetes.
Hatha Yoga places a lot of emphasis on spiritual development in addition to maintaining the health of the body . It is a very sedate form of Yoga that involves a lot of Yoga meditation and spirituality. It is not uncommon to hear Hindu devotional music in the Yoga classes while you practice the asanas, and there is usually some time apart for chanting in Sanskrit. I prompt search of your local suburb in Google should give you some better options – here is a site I have used to find out some more great info Yoga Sydney
IIf getting fit whilst doing the Yoga classes is very important , then Hatha Yoga is unquestionably not what you should be practicing. The kind of Yoga that Hollywood stars and other celebrities practice is Ashtanga Yoga. This is a variation of Hatha Yoga that uses pretty much the same asanas, but it is done with more pace , and there is no or very little emphasis on spirituality. Ashtanga means eight limbed, and the term is easy to understand given that this type of Yoga is to be done in a progressive sequence of asanas unlike in Hatha Yoga where you have to wait after finishing one asana before starting another one.
Ashtanga Yoga is a very acute form of exercise, and you have to synchronize your breathing with each movement in order to increase the level of physical workout. This form of exercise is very physically demanding and this is a very effective way of toning your body and losing weight .
Each different type of Yoga has its specific functions and you can’t really say one is better than the other . In case you have never tried Yoga before, it would be best to start with Hatha Yoga. Once you get the hang of it you can try out Ashtanga Yoga courses to tone your body. You could also go on Yoga retreats occasionally in order to give yourself a wellness holiday. It is considered to be best for you if you can practice various types of Yoga in order to get the maximal benefit from it.
A feeling of anxiousness or anxiety prior to taking an examination is normal. In fact, some experts believe it is healthy as it serves as an effective stimuli that prompts one to come up with a preparation strategy for an upcoming examination.
But some people are not good with handling their nervousness and anxiety such that it affects their performance in the exam. This is most especially true for those who are cramming for their exam. This makes them repulsive to any preparation method as they are unable to clear their mind.
Allow Body Movement
When an individual feels tensed about the idea of taking an examination that s/he isn’t fully prepared for, the tension is manifested throughout the entire body. Although you have short preparations to ensure that you perform well on your exam, that feeling of nervous tension often reacts on you mentally making you incapable of thinking logically.
Hence, a trick of releasing body tension and nervousness would be really helpful in remaining calm prior to taking your exam. Allowing as much body movement as possible is really helpful. You can do simple exercises such as walking, jogging, or stretching. This will effectively calm your nerves and release any tension that is building up. Doing these body movement enhancement exercises are also quite helpful in waking up your nerves and senses.
Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Stress and anxiety are two of the worst mental and physical health enemies. When people suffer from stress or anxiety, you lose synchronization and focus. This is a deadly combination when you are about to take an examination. The negative emotions or thoughts that you might be having could prevent you from thinking clearly. As a result, you have difficulty remembering all that you have reviewed for the exam and put you at risk for low performance.
Performing Rhythmic Breathing
Rhythmic breathing has been known to offer a wide range of benefits as a yoga practice. Among the physiological effects are increased oxygen supply and re-establishment of the body’s natural rhythm.
Mentally though, rhythmic breathing offers benefits that would help those who are cramming for their exam. It helps bring about calmness of the mind, increase your level of self-confidence, and improve concentration ability. These are all mental abilities that would help improve your performance in an examination. Thus, retention of important information that you need to be able to respond to the exam questionnaires is a very useful benefit of practicing this particular yoga breathing technique.
Deep breathing in yoga has been known to effectively combat stress. As you know, preparing for an exam is such a stressful situation to be in. The level of stress also adds up when the actual time of the examination is drawing near and you have not done enough preparation to be confident on your exam performance.
Deep breathing comprises of full and cleansing breaths. This relaxation technique is very simple to perform and yet its effects on the body are very powerful. Here are the steps you can follow:
Find a comfortable sitting position. Make sure that your back is straight while you place on hand on your chest and the other resting on your stomach.
Use your nose for breathing in. Do this fully such that you can see your hand resting on your stomach rise. There should also be movement on your chest.
Use your mouth for exhalation. Do this in a sudden and forceful manner to empty out your lungs.
Repeat the same process all over again.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Here is another well known strategy used for stress relief due to its effectiveness. It involves two process that follows a systematic approach. The first step is involved with tensing specific muscle groups, while the second part helps in releasing that tension to provide relaxation. This is also a very good relaxation technique to use if you are suffering from muscular tension in specific areas of the body. It takes only a few minutes and would be very effective to perform a few minutes before starting your examination.
You must begin by trying to relax and make your entire body comfortable. You can start with slow and deep breathing to provide relaxation. Once you are ready, you can focus your attention on your right foot. Try to tense your muscles on your right foot by squeezing it and holding this position for at least 10 seconds. After that, relax your right foot and bask in the feeling of relaxing your foot.
Use the same method on your left foot this time. The same sequence of creating and releasing tension should be done. Follow this pattern by slowly working your way upwards in your body.
Mindfulness meditation must not be confused with meditation. The former is more effective if you want to use this method for stress relief or reducing anxiety caused by cramming for an exam. The idea of mindfulness is basically enabling you to get rid of any negative form of thought and becoming more engaged with the present moment. This quality allows you to focus on the task at hand, which in this case is the exam, and increase ability to concentrate.
Although deeper than regular meditation, it does not equal zoning out though. There is still that certain level of awareness of your physical environment but attaining a more specific focus. This will be able you to be more guided in your mental activities.
Lack of focus and unorganized thoughts are very characteristic among individuals who are anxious or cramming for an exam. This is crucial as you could basically forget all the information you have patiently reviewed on previously.
To follow this relaxation technique, you must imagine a serene and tranquil scene. Your goal must be to find peace and release any form of tension, whether mental or physical. It could be somewhere tropical or your favorite place as a child, but it has to have a calming effect on you. Do this with your eyes closed and allow yourself to drift away into the scene. Take note of all sensory impulses too for a more effective stress relief.
Tai Chi is one particular yoga style that you can practice to provide more physical and mental harmony that would help your exam preparation. It comprises of a series of slow and flowing movements. Some of the benefits of practicing Tai Chi includes relaxation of mind and body, revitalized energy, and increased concentration ability.
Tai Chi is a low impact yoga style that you can perform, which suits even those with minimum fitness level or any age level. Plus, the above mentioned benefits will truly help you cope with the tension of an upcoming examination.
As we practice yoga poses we want to do also inversions. Most common inversions are the Headstand and the Shoulderstand. But there are not only those two poses which are the inverted asanas.
Any posture in which the head is below the heart is called an inversion. Whether you stand on your head, bend forward or bend back, if your head is below your heart, you are performing an inversion.
This also means that Downward Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend and Fish pose are also inversions; although those poses are mild in comparison to a Headstand. The Camel pose can also be an inversion if you bend back far enough.
Remember – inversions are not for everyone!
Your intentions should be clear when you perform any yoga posture. If the risks may outweigh the benefits there is no logical reason why you should practice any pose which can harm you.
Contraindications for practicing inversions:
If you have any of the following conditions, please omit inversions or work with a qualified and experienced teacher who will never put you at risk and tried to modify your practice.
Anyone who has high blood pressure, heart related problems, eye issues, neck problems, epilepsy, previous stroke or sinus problems should never practice Headstand or Shoulderstand, and omit other mild inversions or be adjusted by the yoga teacher.
During any stage of pregnancy yoga should be practiced in a prenatal yoga classes specifically designed for that purpose or privately with a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher.
During menstruation Headstand and Shoulderstand preferably should be omitted and other milder inversions should not be hold for long, but because of the controversy about the inversions during menstruation it is your personal choice. Let your body guide you.
If you are a yoga teacher explain to your students why the inversions can be dangerous for them if they have any of the condition mentioned earlier.
Why not stand on your head when you have pain in your neck or neck injury? What first thing will come to your mind as you there? Ouch … my neck! Can my small neck carry my whole weight as I am inverted?
Most students put lots of weight on their head and neck instead of shoulders. Use your common sense and listen to your body. Intuition will never let you down.
Why omit headstand if I have high blood pressure? Because the danger is when your blood pressure increase from 100/60 mm Hg while standing on your feet to 150/110 mm Hg or even higher when you go for headstand.