It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Gigmas, y’all. Tis the season to practice incessantly for juries, eat granola bars in your car between Christmas gigs, and wear that reindeer sweater four days in a row. I like to call the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas the “sprint to the finish.” This period of time is so brief, but jam packed with performances and finals to keep you on your toes.
In the spirit of the season, I want to give a gift to you: My favorite stress-reducing, circulation-balancing, low-back-pain-helping pose. This one is easiest to do at home, but can be worked out in a practice room if you’ve got a piano bench to help you out!
Legs Up the Wall
Yep - That’s the technical name for this pose ;) And it’s just as simple as it sounds, too. This posture is a gentle inversion that increases circulation in the lower body and allows the lower back to release. It’s impactful for the breath, too - lying on the floor makes it easier to feel your back and ribcage expand as you breathe. I like to set a timer on my phone for a few minutes, lay back, and just notice. Making time to put my legs up the wall on practice breaks (instead of staring at my phone) helps me to remember to breathe, decreases my heart rate, and gives my low body a break from constant standing and sitting, too.
Want to try it? Let’s do this.
Find a spot with a blank wall and cozy carpet.
Sit on the floor with your right arm pressed up against the wall. Scoot your right hip as close to the wall as you can.
Place your left hand on the ground to support you. Draw a rainbow shape across the wall with your right leg, extending it up the wall. Let your left leg follow your right as you bring your back to the floor.
If your hips aren’t right up against the wall, scoot them closer. If that feels too intense, scoot your hips away from the wall.
Once you find a cozy spot, place your hands on your belly, close your eyes, and breathe. After a few moments, your legs might start to feel static-y. That’s okay! Just notice what that feels like. Stay with your breath.
When this posture feels complete and you’re ready to get back to the real world, reverse rainbow your legs down to the ground (that’s a technical term too, okay?), roll onto one side, and press yourself up.
Et voila! If you want an awesome how-to video, Yoga with Adriene has one here. Check it out and let me know what you think, my awesome friends!