We all need survival strategies to help us maneuver through life’s difficult days with some measure of sanity and grace. When the world threatens to overwhelm us, we need a way to hold ourselves together until the stormy weather passes—or perhaps simply a way to let everything fall apart without losing our faith completely.
Here’s my favorite survival strategy: I close the door, tune in to my favorite track on Savasana by Wah, hit the repeat button, and slide into Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose). I drape a lavender-scented eye bag across my brow, exhale as soulfully as possible, and then invite the posture’s quiet softness to sink into every cell of my body.
I breathe. I surrender. I melt. As my legs drain, my mind empties and my belly warms and softens. I linger here for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, sometimes a half an hour or more, until the pose has drawn every last drop of angst and agitation from my soul. And when I can bear to pull myself back to reality, I roll over and slowly sit up, refreshed and renewed. Invariably, I feel better able to manage life’s challenges with clarity and balance.
I’d wager that Viparita Karani can do the same for you. This soothing, restorative posture calms the nervous system, eases muscle fatigue, and helps restore healthy, restful breathing. Many yoga instructors offer it as an antidote to exhaustion, illness, and weakened immunity. In addition, it invites us todrop beneath the surface of life into quieter and more introspective realms.