Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
Centering and restful. Just 3 to 15 minutes simply lying on your back with legs elevated can do wonders for lowering blood pressure and calming the mind. As your heart opens to spirit, discover the true gifts of the season.
Place a pillow or specially designed “yoga bolster” beneath your hips to help elevate the lower body away from the heart, this is optional.
Turn off your phone’s ringer(s) and other possible sound intrusions. Locate a clean, well ventilated place where you won’t be distracted. You’re simply looking for a place that’s comfortable.
Lying back with legs supported against any vertical surface (such as a wall or even a bed if this feels more accessable), close your eyes and externally rotate your arms from the shoulders down to the palms opening the chest and heart. This shouldn’t feel fussy, just relaxing and nurturing. Now your palms, chest and mind will be gently facing the skies. Rest beneath the magnitude and area of this vast unknown magical space.
Bring your attention to the weight of your own body. Notice the areas where it is feeling heavy. Give in, completely, to this sensation of being deeply connected to the earth. Begin to even notice a slight sense of merging into the source of all our existence, mother earth. Let her hold you. Give to her whatever thoughts are stirring around your mind.
Find your breath and notice the refreshing softness of each and every new breath. This discovery doesn’t need to be a big sensation, just a subtle attention to that feeling of flow and movement within.
There is a beautiful delicate feeling to each and every inhalation even though those very breaths are so powerful— fueling, in fact, our vitality. Feeling the easy expansion of the chest, lungs and the spiritual heart upon each inhale, let inhales soften the furthest boundaries of interior space, expanding self softly outward.
Allow natural letting go sensations to take place upon each exhalation. As you give your breath back to the universe, the earth cradles you more fully taking your tensions and like an electrical current “grounding” your energy. Trust this unknown phenomena and let yourself be pulled into gravity.
Perhaps some quiet meditative music is playing in the background of your environment or the sound patterns of your own breath is creating a focal point for your thoughts. Initially feel your attention moving more and more into this quiet space, eventually moving your focus to just the sounds of breathing. As thoughts come, witness them and then without judgment or time spent upon them, let them go. You can always return to them later.
Allow each consecutive breath to anchor your mind more and more noticing how thoughts are just like waves on the surface of an ocean. Like waves, coming and wanting your attention, they then flow away as the next wave of thought moves in. With breath upon breath gently coming and going never feel a desire to grasp or hold onto any particular breath. Just surrender to the sounds and sensations of each easy breath and their movement through your mind and body. Eventually, the waves will become simply ocean and your mind will merge into that universal space. Here, the ocean in your mind will become smooth and mirror-like, reflecting the ocean of universe that has cradled the planet since it began.
Realize your breath is the link to your true spirit. Ride the waves of vital breath to wherever they go. If a positive thought occurs to you, allow that idea to guide you for awhile. Inhaling, manifesting this vibration of energy that has been gifted to you. Exhaling, letting it go so you can move on to the unknown new beauty that awaits you this holiday season.
Life is a witnessing experience. You are the witness to the series of events that take place. The things that feel good, the things that feel bad– they are all part of the same experience of witnessing. Be present with the vibration within you and without you this holiday season.
Be open in the area of your heart and how it is feeling as you traverse these holiday activities. Take care and discover your heart’s song and therefore purpose in any and all social and private settings. Remembering, when we are connected easily, softly and gently to the universe through the antenna of our heart we will live life to the fullest.
Centered upon heart and spirit anytime is easy to do when we incorporate this simple yoga technique into our routine. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) is the perfect antidote to the stimuli of a busy holiday schedule, let it keep you in harmony.