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Hello! Welcome to Body Moments ~ In the Moment with Your Inversion!
August 28, 2011

In the Moment with Your Inversion!
Issue #010 - August 28, 2011

For those of you who know Yoga, this body meditation may be familiar. I recently discovered the benefit of using a wall for support in Wall Yoga. I wish to share a Wall Yoga exercise with you.

Today I am offering the simplest of inversions, called, "Legs Up the Wall Pose." It is a variation of the Shoulder Stand (Viparita Karani) and it is a good prelude to learning the Shoulder Stand if you heart is longing to go there.

Inversions, like headstands, shoulder stands and the Plow Pose are all intended to help you reflect on looking at life from a different perspective. The Sanskrit word, "viparita" means, turned around, reversed or inverted. In this pose you will see life essentially turned upside down.

As Sivananda Radha says in his book, Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language, our feet are normally rooted in the Earth. However, when we turn ourselves upside down, our feet are now rooted in Heaven. "All of our concepts of life and our purpose for living are turned upside down. The nourishment that was supplied by the Earth, is now supplied by greater forces from above."

I invite you to experience this nourishment from above and examine your own world as it might look like, turned upside down.

Let us begin the pose, by lying on your side, in the fetal position and your feet flat against the wall. It may take some positioning to get your buttocks close to the wall as well. Now, roll onto your back and raise your legs up against the wall. Your buttocks should be as close to the wall as possible. If you cannot get your legs straight, that is OK. You may have to adjust the position of your buttocks so that your knees can be bent, to a comfortable position.
Legs Up the Wall Pose, Wall Yoga

Legs Up the Wall Pose, Wall Yoga

While your legs are comfortably resting up against the wall, and your arms are comfortably relaxed at your side, begin to center yourself and begin your deep breathing. Focus on your breath. Feel it deepening. (I use the breathing technique that I taught you in the April Issue of Body Moments.)

Feel your lower back sinking into the earth as it flattens against the ground and your belly moves downward. Breathe in and on the exhale, sink deeper. Feel your hamstrings on the back of your legs release as your feet reach higher up the wall. If your toes are pointing upward, flex them down and expose your feet to the heavens.

Breathe in the energy from above as you fully expose your feet. Notice any sensations in your head as it receives blood and nourishment from your feet and legs. Breathe and sink deeper. Notice how it feels to you in this new, inverted position.

How does the world look for you now when you are upside down? Are the feelings peaceful or scary? Do you hang on to your perceptions and force down any new sensations? Are your convictions so strong that you don't want to perceive the world in a new way?

If you are comfortable and want to take the inversion higher, place something supportive under your hips to lift them higher. I use my foam roller, but you may use a rolled up blanket, yoga blocks or any other supportive prop.
Legs Up the Wall Pose with Support, Wall Yoga

Supported Legs Up the Wall Pose, Wall Yoga

Breathe in this supported position and notice any emotions arising. Does this feel more fearful? Do you feel a heightened sense of energy flowing into your upper body and head? Continue to inhale, and on the exhale, relax deeper into the pose as your fear releases and you open up to receive.

Stay in this moment as long as you are able or as long as your heart desires.

If you feel ready to go higher and you want to take the pose even deeper, while still holding on to your prop, you can bend your knees and walk up the wall until your lower legs are parallel to the ground and your upper body and upper legs are vertical to the floor.
Shoulder Stand on the Wall, Wall Yoga

Shoulder Stand on the Wall, Wall Yoga

Keep your neck elongated as you stretch you head out through your crown. You should not feel any pressure on your neck or head, but your neck should be open. Your weight should be only on your shoulders. You will need to engage your core/belly to push your hips from the wall to keep your spine straight and supported.

Stay in this position as you heart desires and notice any differing sensations here as you breathe into the pose.

If you heart so desires, place your hands on your hips for more support. If you are ready and able, lift your lower legs off the wall and straighten them into a full shoulder stand. Breathe. Stay in the moment as you experience a new way of being.

Affirm, "I am safe, I receive energy and strength from above." "The heavens supply me with Love and Strength and I fear not." "I am upside down and I see the world clearly and in a new way."

As you stay in the moment and progress to each new comfort level in your inversion, repeat the above affirmations once again or create your own as your faith and intuition lead you through this exercise.

When you are ready, slowly lower your hips down onto your prop or the ground and roll out onto your side. Bring your attention back to the day. Breathe and slowly get up.

If you can repeat this body meditation as much as possible in the coming month you will ease into your new way of looking at the world. The more you practice this, the easier it will become. With each moment that you learn to bend your own will and learn a new way of being, you will learn the skill for actual events in your life if it should turn upside down.

'May God's healing Energy from above be unleashed on you as you spend this moment with your body.'

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