Why You Should Practice Legs Up The Wall If You're Feeling Bloated
There's another viral TikTok trend going around, and it's all about helping people de-bloat. More and more videos are popping up showing people practice the yoga pose "legs up the wall," aka viparita karani. Based on my experience as a yoga instructor, I can tell you this tip certainly isn't unfounded. Let me explain how to do this pose properly, plus the explanation behind this yogi trick.
Why legs up the wall is good for digestion.
Legs up the wall is a gentle inversion, meaning your hips are above your heart. These poses are thought to help improve circulation. What's more, inversions may help your body enter "rest and digest mode," which stimulates digestion and supports regularity.
The thinking behind this is if you're feeling bloated or cramped, lying with your legs up the wall will shift the gravitational pull on your digestive organs, helping to keep things moving. And simply relaxing into this posture will allow your body to calm down enough to digest.
How to do it:
- Start by sitting down facing a wall, with a block or folded blanket underneath you if desired.
- Lay your upper body down, and extend your legs up the wall.
- Your sitz bones don't need to be touching the wall, so adjust to a length that feels comfortable for you.
- Legs should be relatively active but not completely stiff.
- Hold for around 10 minutes, breathing gently.
What are the other benefits?
Along with stimulating digestion and helping you de-bloat, the circulation that comes from this pose can also help ease headaches and anxiousness. Restorative yoga poses in general are great for working through stress that's stored in the body.
And thanks to its relaxing effect, legs up the wall is excellent for grounding the nervous system, supporting the immune system, and, yes, even getting a good night's sleep. Next time you're tossing and turning, try putting your legs up the wall for at least 10 minutes and notice how much sleepier you feel.
Bottom line is, this simple and restorative pose has a ton of benefits, whether you're looking to go to sleep, find headache relief, or of course, minimize bloat.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.