Stress-buster: Legs up the wall

As freelance editors and writers, we spend a staggering amount of time every day with our butts in our chairs.

Like many of us, I have the best of intentions when it comes to ergonomics — a proper chair, a foot-rest, and a laptop screen that is angled correctly.

But by about 2 in the afternoon, I usually feel like I’m supporting an anvil on my shoulders and look like Gollum after a hard day at the riverbank.


My neck hurtsss, my preciousssss….

Sssssssstressssss, my preciousssssss.

One of the best (bessssst) remedies for the cramped muscles that plague most editors is a surprisingly easy little move you can do at home. It’s actually a yoga move called Viparina Karani, but we’ll just call it “Legs up the wall,” because that’s what you’ll be doing.

It takes maybe five to ten minutes at most  – well worth the time.

Before you start, go put on your sweatpants and a t-shirt, or yoga pants if you have them. Take your shoes off and pick some nice music to listen to if you like.

(I like the Fip app, which has a nice selection of eclectic world music. Spotify is also good, but kill the ads if you can.)

All set? Here’s what you do.

  1. Pick a wall that’s bare of furniture and paintings, and has some clear floor space in front of it.
  2. Sit sideways to the wall, with your hip squashed right up against it. Some people like to put a rolled-up towel under their hipbones to support their back a bit. I don’t. Up to you.
  3. Carefully lean a bit sideways & back and gently swing your legs upwards. “Walk” your heels up if you need to. You’ll feel awkward as hell. This is fine. 🙂


    Oh no… here comes the dog!

  4. Once you’re in position, i.e., lying down with your legs up, wiggle around a bit so that your bum is right against the wall and your legs are more or less straight.
  5. Put your arms out to the side or over your head or on your belly  – wherever is most comfortable.
  6. Close your eyes if you want, or keep them open and look at the ceiling. I do both as I feel like it; either way, your eye muscles are getting a well-deserved rest.
  7. Move your legs as you like  –  bend your knees, or let your legs fall a bit open to stretch your inner thigh muscles. Again, there really aren’t any rules here. Your body will generally let you know what it needs.

Stay as long as you need to. Like I said, this is a really relaxing pose and you may find that you doze off. (In which case, have bribes handy in case your loved ones have posted photos of you on Facebook while you slept.)


Paws up the wall. Yeah, baby.








Read more:

Five Health Benefits of “Legs Up the Wall” Posture

Do Less, Relax More: Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s