Legs Up the Wall

Yoga in Pajamas: Legs Up the Wall

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Happy Friday Yogis! I hope your week has gone well and you are ready to treat yourself to a relaxing weekend! If you need some help getting started with your weekend, let me help you! The rest pose I have for you this week is Legs Up the Wall also known as Viparita Karani. If you have done this pose, you know how great it is and if you haven’t then trust me you need to try it!

I’m not going to lie, this is one of the most challenging rest positions to get into. However, once you are in the pose it’s like heaven.

How to Get Into the Pose

•Find an open space near a wall and sit with the left or right side of your body touching the wall
•In one smooth movement, swing your legs up the while and your shoulders and head gently down to the floor; your buttocks will be touching or just a bit away from the wall (your body will be in a 90 degree angle)
•Hold your legs vertically in place up the wall. Release the thigh bones and the weight of your belly into your torso
•Soften your eyes and turn them down to look into your heart
To get out of the pose, bend your knees and bring your heels down to your body, turn over to one side and push yourself up

In my personal opinion, this pose is magic and here’s why… you can do this pose in the late afternoon when you are looking for a little pick me up and it will recharge you providing the perfect energy boost to get you through the rest of your day. If you do this pose in the evening before bed, it can be totally calming, relaxing, and will help you unwind. So to me that’s magic!!! Whatever you might need, this pose will provide. If you agree, let me know in the comments below.

Some of the benefits of this pose are: improves circulation, calms the body and mind, supports your lower back, gives a light stretch to the hamstrings, and helps to relieve tired feet.

There are a few different variations of this pose which are all just as amazing, but for today I am going to share the basic version. I have plans to show alternative poses in the future so stay tuned!!!

Props: Wall, 2 Blankets

Consider staying in the pose for 5-10 minutes or as long as is comfortable. A nice pose to follow legs up the wall is Legs Elevated Savasana, the pose I posted last week or you might want to try the Supported Butterfly Pose.

I hope you enjoy this pose!
Be Well,
Nicole

What’s Up Wednesday: Core Exercises

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Hard to believe it is Wednesday already! Time keeps flying by! This week I have some great core exercises for you. You already know how important it is to have a strong core: in order to have better balance and stability, support to bend down, to lift things up, to rise from the floor, and other functional movements.

This week’s exercises are important because they will keep your back in a neutral position!

I often work with people who have osteoporosis/osteopenia or back pain and some of the more traditional core exercises, which involve crunches, are contraindicated for those people. So here are a few exercises all done with a neutral spine to help keep the back safe while still getting the benefits of building strength in the core muscles. If you have taken my classes you probably have already done these at some point, if not, give them a try and see how they feel in your body. You might be surprised how much you feel the core muscles working.

Props: Yoga mat & optional blanket
to support your knees when in a tabletop position
Note: This is my all time favorite yoga mat! I have had one forever and I use them at the studio. The studio is 2 years old and the mats are as good as new!

Hands to Thighs
Lying on your back, bring your legs up into a 90 degree angle. You will also want to bring your spine into a posterior tilt here. Take your hands to the center of your thighs and push the hands into the thighs and the thighs into the hands with equal resistance. Hold for 5-8 breaths and repeat 3 times.

Knee Lift
Start by coming into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. You will then simply lift one knee off the mat about an inch or two and hold for 5-8 breaths. Switch to the other side and repeat for 3 rounds.

Balancing Table
From your tabletop position, take one leg straight back with your leg in line with your hip and your toes pointing towards the floor. Lift the opposite arm forward, thumb up, as if to shake someone’s hand. You will want to keep the muscles of your arms and legs engaged as you extend out through your heel and fingertips. Hold for 5-8 breaths and repeat on the opposite side.

Supine Feet Lift
Lie on your back and bring your spine into a posterior tilt (aka neutral spine); to do this you will flatten your back by slightly tilting your hip bones toward your stomach.
Then simply lift both feet off the mat a couple of inches. You will want to keep the lower back pressing into the floor while relaxing the upper body. Hold for 5-8 breaths and repeat 3 times.

 

Here is the video where I guide you through the poses:

If you are looking for more yoga and mindful conditioning strength movements, check out the post from last week where I show how to use a yoga block to build strength.

Let me know in the comments below which one of these feels the best in your body or if you have any questions.

What Else?

I have really been enjoying winding down in the evenings with a book and it seems I have been getting through a book a week. I finished the book I mentioned last week, 28 Summers
By Elin Hilderbrand. This was the perfect summer read and takes place mainly in Nantucket.

“Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year, 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.”- Amazon

I give this book 4 yoga solid yoga mats!

This week, I have shifted to non-fiction. I am not sure where I heard about this book, Unshakeable  Your Financial Freedom Playbook Creating Peace of Mind in a World of Volatility By Tony Robbins, but I am glad I picked it up. This book has very valuable information about the stock market and how to invest your money in a way that is very easy to understand. It has me so intrigued that I pulled my investment statements to review and I am going to make some changes based on what I read.

Next on my list is The Two Lives of Lydia Bird: A Novel By Josie Silver. I’ll let you know how I like it next week!

Have a great rest of your week!
Nicole

Monday Motivation: Pratyahara

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I hope you all had a great weekend! Over the past week, I have been reflecting on (and you may have heard me mention in class) the importance of withdrawing our senses or turning inward, known in the Yoga Sutras as Pratyahara. Even though our lives may have slowed down since the start of the pandemic, we are still being stimulated by our five senses. It is important to take time throughout our day, even if you only have a few minutes, to withdraw from the external world in order to find a sense of peace and calm in the body and mind.
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Yoga in Pajamas: Legs Elevated Savasana

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Happy Friday!!

I hope you will try this week’s Yoga in Pajama Pose, Legs Elevated Savasana. Don’t let this pose fool you into thinking you are JUST lying down! Let me assure you the benefits of this pose make it so much more than just laying down and actually, it might be one of the hardest poses you do.
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What’s Up Wednesday: Building Strength With a Yoga Block

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Happy Wednesday!!   I hope your week is going well! This week in my classes, I am focusing on sneaking in a little more strength movements in the my classes with the addition of a block. I am always interested in providing opportunities for my students to experience poses in an unique way to not only keep the practice interesting but also to provide a different stimulus to the body. When the poses are always done in the same way, the body begins to get used to the poses and you may not get the maximum benefit. The block adds a load or weight to the body which will engage muscles more and help you to get stronger. I invite you to approach these poses with curiosity and see how it feels!
Bridge Pose with a Block
This is a great way to really activate the legs especially the inner thighs. To do this pose, place your feet on the mat and put a block between your legs. Press into your feet, lift your hips, (your arms can come into any position) and squeeze the block. Hold for 5-8 breaths and then release your hips back down. Repeat two more times.
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Yoga in Pajamas: Supported Butterfly

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Happy Friday! Are you ready to relax into the weekend? If so, you are going to love this pose!
Supported Butterfly Pose is a very popular restorative pose and often one of my go-to poses when teaching a restorative yoga class.

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What’s Up Wednesday: Yoga for Your Feet

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Happy Hump Day! I hope you are having a good week so far! I am super excited NBYW will be 2 on Friday! I can’t believe it has been two year already since I opened! To celebrate, we are hosting a F R E E Candlelight Gentle Yoga class on Friday night at 7:00pm PST. Please join us by registering here: https://nbyogawellness.punchpass.com

 

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Yoga in Pajamas: Supported Bridge Pose

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Happy Friday! I hope you have had a great week!!

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What’s Up Wednesday: Yoga Twists

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

This week in my classes, I am integrating many different twists into the practices I teach. Twists are a great way to work many different parts of the body in one practice. There are many amazing benefits to twisting which includes bringing more movement and mobility into the spine. Twists are also very energizing. Also because of the rotation and the movement in the abdominal area when twisting, you support your digestive system and the lymphatic system of the body.
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