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Your Body on Yoga Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 4

Practice: Legs Up The Wall

15 min - Practice


Kristin guides us in a restorative and meditative practice to help reconnect to our breath, our heart, and our bodies.
What You'll Need: Wall


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I'd like to lead you through a practice to help reconnect to our breath, our heart, our bodies. And for this, it would be nice to have a wall or a couch or something you can bring your legs up. Even a chair would be lovely if you could just place your legs up on a chair. It might be nice to have something soft underneath you. So I'm going to lead you through and just prepare yourself maybe a bolster underneath your hips so you get a gentle inversion.

And if you're using a bolster, you just want to make sure it's about maybe six inches or so away from the wall, not right up against the wall. So this becomes a little bit more relaxing. The neutral pelvis, the easy legs, will help bring you into a little greater state of ease. So you can come to sit on the edge of your bolster with one shoulder and hip against the wall. And then just almost like in the chorus line, you'll take one leg up at a time.

Doesn't have to be as graceful as that. And you would like to have your sitting bones kind of peek down over the edge of the pillow. And your legs at a bit of an angle. And then as your legs are extended up, just feel as if the inner thigh crease could melt down and in the pillow or blanket underneath you, supporting underneath your sacrum, back of pelvis. And then your legs, knees, feet, toes, all can be a little bit more relaxed.

Move the arms slightly away from the sides of the body. Bring just a little bit of the shoulder blade underneath you. And the thumbs a little higher than your pinky fingers, suggest your head, a little breeze under your neck. And then take a few moments just to close your eyes and settle in. I'm going to come out of the pose just to lead you through this exploration and you can stay nice and snuggled in.

Taking your right hand onto your heart, your left hand onto your belly. Just take some deeper breaths in and out of the nose. Try to connect to the beat of your heart, the pulse in your vessels, this ebb and flow of your breath. And literally the visceral participation with where you are, which often leads us back to that recognition of who we really are. Just inherent in this gesture of hands on the body, you might start to feel some kind of holding or emotion, may just begin to surface, can allow it to surface and if it becomes too much or too distracting, just move your awareness back into your breath.

I'm going to play with the breath just a little bit to see if you can inhale say for a count of six and you can exhale for a count of six, just a slow breath but without straining. I'm going to give the breath a little bit more direction, so find perhaps that you can inhale down into the bowl of the pelvis, the belly inflates and breathe a little bit more into the middle chest and then breathe even more into the upper reaches of your chest and lungs, almost like you're filling up a glass of water and as you exhale empty first from the upper chest, the middle chest and then finally draw your lower belly in softly towards your spine, let's do this a few times inhale filling belly, middle chest, upper chest and then exhale upper chest, middle chest and belly, continue on on your own just a few more rounds like this. And we're going to change it just slightly, so breathe in as you've been doing. And belly, middle chest, upper chest and now exhale just a third of the way out, so exhale two counts, chest softens, pause, exhale another two counts, middle chest softens, pause and then exhale completely, belly moves in all the air out and pause, inhale full count of six, belly, middle chest, upper chest and then exhale just a third of the way out, chest softens for two counts and pause, exhale out another third, middle chest softens and pause and then exhale everything out, belly moves in and pause, please continue like this another few rounds, just a gentle pauses on the exhale and if this gets to be too aggravating or you're starting to notice that you're straining or gasping for your next inhale, just relax the pauses, let them fall away, just deep breath in and out, please continue another couple of minutes of this in a stair step breath. Any questions?

Thank you. You might notice if your mind is getting busy, you might fall away from the breath or if you're getting sleepy and daydreaming, you might fall away from the breath. All of that is fine, but if you wish to continue, just keep nudging the mind back to the breath for just another minute. After your next exhale, just finish your round and relax any known control of your breath. So moving it back to its unfussed with version.

And then just notice the sensations in your body, this unique moment of right now. Any changes, perhaps since the beginning of your practice in just a few minutes of breathwork and attention and sweetness, feel the beat of the heart, the heart that's loved you since the beginning, the heart that charges on and is responsive to the external world as well as the internal world. Just a moment of reverence for yourself, for your engagement in this work and for the experience born out of the engagement. Taking your time as you do feel ready, just start to bend one knee at a time, just walking your feet down the wall, can bring your knees towards your chest, might even give them a little hug. Very mindfully just roll over to one side, just carefully fall off of your padding and just rest in a fetal position.

You want to take your time to transition here, there's a bit of a switch in the blood pressure. Place your hand to the floor, you can allow your eyes to stay closed, your head really heavy, just ease yourself back into a comfortable seat, letting your heart get there before your head. Bring the palms together in front of the heart, you can rest your thumbs back to your sternum. So the balance of the right hand against the left, the balance of these dualities, strength and softness, openness, vulnerability in your power, structure and your sweet space, bow your head to your heart, allow the eyes to flicker open, bringing that remembrance back into each moment of your living. Namaste.


Lorraine Marek
Perfect for nightime after a busy day
Kristin Leal
Yay Lorraine ! Glad you enjoyed it!!

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