Type : Inversion
Justification : Restorative posture
Physical Benefits : Stimulates the digestive system and blood circulation . Relieves lower-back pain, jet-lag, constipation, urinary problems, high and low blood pressure, menstrual cramps, problems associated with menopause, head-ache and migraine.
Reinforces the muscles in the neck, arm and legs and relieves arthritus.
Therapeutic Benefits : Aliviates depression, fatigue and anxiety. Calms and cools the nervous system and re-establishes the breathing. Rebalances the hormones andimmune system.
Limitations : To be avoided if you have glaucoma, hypertension, hernia or have recently undergone surgery in the neck or back. There are two schools of thought for executing this posture during menstruation.
How To Practice : Note : Depending on your flexibility the supports you use can be higher or lower.
Using a bolster (or 3 folded blankets, folded length-wise in accordion fashion) and a brick. Place the brick against the wall and then place the bolster flush against the brick. There are two ways (that I know of) to get into this : the first one is to hike your buttocks up the wall sittingsideways on the bolster, hip bone flush against the wall and then to gimmy your sitting bones up and against the wall. I find this a little awkward and somewhat difficult. The other way is do what we call in French, a galipette, or somersault. Kneel down in front of the bolster and place each hand at each edge of, but ON the bolster. Now place your head on the floor, just in front of the bolster. Straighten legs and lift knees and hips up into downward dog (adho mukha savasana). Roll the pelvis towards the wall, try to find the wall with your back and kick the legs up over the head and let the shoulders slide onto the bolster while flipping your legs and feet along the wall. Slide down and snuggle into the posture keeping your sitting bones and backs of your thighs against wallwith the legs straight. Your abdomen should be relaxed and soft as should your hip-flexors. Roll your shoulders slightly under your shoulder-blades to open up the chest. Place the arms along the sides of your torso, in a cross position, in cactus or place your hands on your lower abdomen. Lengthen the cervical spine and totally relax and abandon yourself into the pose. Soften the skin of the face, the ears, eyes, nose and tongue. Keep your teeth slightly apart and let the tongue rest passively along the bottom of your mouth. After 10-15 minutesyou can bend your legs and bring them into a cross-legged position. After a few minutes change the crossing of the legs. For pre-natal and menopausal women, widen the legs on the wall.
Stay for as long as you can- at least 10 minutes. To come out, bend your legs and using your feet, push out from the wall and slide back on the mat keeping just your feet on the bolster. Relax for a few breaths in savasana. Or, if you’re feeling really frisky and have no cervical issues, bring the legs back over the head into the plough pose(Halasana) and roll back (Chakrasana) into Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana) and finally into Child’s Pose (Adho Mukha Virasana).