When you are stressed or tired but bedtime is nowhere in sight, recharge yourself by spending a few minutes with your legs up the wall. This yoga pose, known as Viparita Karani, boosts circulation toward your upper body, while it allows lymph and other fluids that lead to swollen, achy legs and feet to flow into the belly.
“I love this pose, and practice it almost every Friday when I get home from work,” says Marianne Tanner, a librarian and longtime yoga teacher in Portland, Oregon. “Not only is it a great antidote to long hours of static standing or sitting, but it’s also one of the best ways I know to shift gears from work to home.”
In this variation, roll up a small blanket or towel for underneath your spine and head, and fold another into a rectangle to use under your low back. Leave a few inches of room between the wall and the towel so your sitting bones can drape off the edge, and more space from the wall if the hamstrings feel tight. The arms release off the sides for a gentle chest stretch.
How long you stay in the pose is totally up to you—a minimum of five minutes if that’s all the time you’ve got; although once you arrive in this pose you won’t want to come out.