Want to get rid of swollen ankles or aching muscles? Try this simple five-minute self-care routine inspired by Deepika Padukone, who loves yoga!

Deepika Padukone, who is expecting her first child with husband Ranveer Singh, has given fans a sneak peek into a special 5-minute self-care routine that keeps her mind, body and soul in check! The Bollywood actress has always embraced yoga as a key element of her wellness regimen. Even during her pregnancy, she has continued her tryst with the ancient practice, especially ‘viparita karani’ or the legs-up-the-wall pose!

Deepika took to her Instagram handle and shared that workout makes her “feel fit”.

“It’s a Self-Care Month. But why celebrate ‘Self-Care Month’ when you can practice simple acts of self-care every day? I love a good workout. I don’t work out to ‘look good’ but to ‘feel fit.’ Exercise has been part of my lifestyle for as long as I can remember. However, when I can’t fit in a workout, I practice this simple 5-minute routine. I do this every day, whether I work out or not. It’s especially useful after a long flight or just to decompress,” Deepika posted while giving a glimpse of her workout routine.

What is viparita karani or legs-up-the-wall pose?

Viparita Karani or legs-up-the-wall pose is a therapeutic practice, which involves lying on your back with your legs extended vertically against a wall. This restorative pose requires minimal effort and no special equipment besides a wall, a yoga mat or a folded blanket or cushion for added comfort. Sharing the picture, Deepika further penned, “In Sanskrit, *viparita* means “inverted” and *karani* translates to “in action”. This active inversion position is also called the restful inversion.”

Benefits of viparita karani or legs-up-the-wall pose

Deepika Padukone, in her Instagram note, shared the benefits of the leg-up-the-wall pose, including its advantages for pregnant women. Here are 6 benefits of Viparita Karani that can help to relieve ache muscles, reduce swelling and improve sleep quality.

Also Read

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1. May improve blood circulation

Legs-up-the-wall pose benefits include improved circulation. This restorative pose can elevate the legs above the heart, which encourages venous blood flow back to the heart. It helps reduce swelling and fatigue in the lower extremities. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga states that inversion poses allow venous blood to flow from the legs and pelvis back to the heart and be pumped through the lungs where it becomes oxygenated.

2. May reduce muscle tension

Viparita Karani pose stretches the muscles of the lower back, hamstrings and neck. This can help release tension in the lower back, decompress the spine and reduce pain. According to a study published in Harvard Health Publishing, yoga can relieve chronic lower back pain, enhance mobility, and improve daily function.

3. May enhance digestion

Regular practice of legs-up-the-wall poses can help stimulate the digestive organs. It can help in the processing of the foot, and alleviate bloating, constipation and other gastrointestinal discomfort. A study published in the Journal of Yoga and Physical Therapy states that yoga acts as an internal massage from mouth to the anus, which can ensure the flow of blood, oxygen and strengthen the muscles of internal organs.

deepika padukone
Legs-up-the-wall pose can help reduce swelling, leg fatigue and improve your overall health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

4. May support hormonal balance

Yoga is believed to have a positive impact on hormonal balance. Practicing a well-crafted workout plan, including viparita karani can help regulate the menstrual cycle, alleviate cramps by relaxing the abdominal muscles, improve blood flow and ease symptoms of menopause. According to the Journal of Mid-Life Health, yoga therapy can help manage distressing premenopausal symptoms.

5. May improve sleep quality

Good quality sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Practising this yoga pose before bedtime can help calm the mind and prepare your body for a restful sleep. It can ease the restless legs, and reduce leg fatigue and hips. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine states that regular practice of yoga can help improve the quality of sleep and reduce episodes of disturbed sleep.

6. May reduce swelling

Pregnancy often leads to swollen legs and feet because of increased fluid retention and pressure on the veins. Performing the legs-up-the-wall pose can help elevate the legs above the heart, which can promote better blood circulation and reduce swelling.

How to perform legs-up-the-wall pose or viparita karani?

Here is how to do the legs-up-the-wall pose like Deepika Padukone:

Step 1: Find a wall space where you can lie down comfortably. Place a yoga mat on the floor to support your back and head. If you are pregnant, use a cushion or a bolster for support.
Step 2: Sit sideways by ensuring that one hip touches the wall. Make sure that your side body is parallel to the wall.
Step 3: Now, gently lie back and swing your legs up the wall at the same time. Use your hands for support.
Step 4: Rest your arms by your sides in a comfortable position.
Step 5: Keep your head and neck in a neutral position and focus on relaxing your body.
Step 6: Breathe deeply and slowly to allow your abdomen to rise and fall.
Step 7: Stay in the pose for 5 to 15 minutes.
Step 8: To release the pose, bend your knees and roll on one side.
Step 9: Allow your body to rest for a few minutes before slowly moving into a seated position.

Also Read: Prenatal yoga: The physical and mental health benefits of staying active during pregnancy

deepika padukone
Legs-up-the-wall pose can improve your overall well-being. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock.

Who should not perform legs-up-the-wall pose or viparita karani?

Deepika Padukone highlights that this inversion yoga pose is not for everyone. She mentioned that people with uncontrollable high blood pressure and glaucoma should avoid performing this yoga position. Besides, don’t practice any pose without consulting your healthcare provider, especially if you are pregnant!

1. If you are suffering from Glaucoma

The increased pressure within the eyes during this inversion pose can put unnecessary strain on your eyes. It may even worsen the conditions like glaucoma and detached retina or lead to complications. According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause blindness and vision loss by damaging the optic nerve.

2. Uncontrolled high blood pressure

Individuals with unmanaged high blood pressure should avoid performing legs-up-the-wall poses as it can potentially increase blood pressure. Practisig this yoga with hypertension may lead to complications sp it is recommended to consult your healthcare provider before incorporating this pose in your routine.

So, just like Deepika Padukone, include this yoga pose in your self-care routine for holistic wellness!

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