Yoga for Runners: Legs Up the Wall

Danielle is back with more great yoga tips for runners!  I have found today’s pose SO useful, especially when traveling and running races at Disney with all that park touring.  Enjoy!


Hello Running at Disney Readers!

This week I thought I’d talk about the pose that really got Sarah and I started with the conversation about me doing a regular guest posting series here on Running at Disney!

Last fall I saw Sarah the night before the Disneyland 10k. She mentioned that her legs were already feeling tired and achy from walking around the parks all day, so I told her she should lay with her legs up the wall when she got back to her hotel room. She looked at me quizzically, so I explained that it is yoga pose used to restore and refresh tired legs. Sarah tried it when she went back to her room (and even Instagrammed a picture!) and the next day told me what a difference it made! 

Legs up the Wall 2

Legs Up the Wall, or Viparita Karini as it is called in Sanskrit (the language yoga is often taught in) is as simple as it sounds and looks. Begin sitting on the floor with one side of your body up against a wall. Slowly roll down to the floor so that your bottom is scooted right up against the base of the wall and your legs are extended up the wall. You may want to have a pillow for under your head just for comfort. I’ll typically set a timer and stay here for 10 minutes.

When coming down from the pose roll over to one side and take a moment or two on your side before you sit up so that you don’t get lightheaded after being inverted for so long!

This is a great pose to do when you’ve been on your feet a lot or even if you’re legs are just feeling tired and heavy. It will refresh your legs and feet by getting the lymph and other fluids that cause swelling to flow in the opposite direction, increasing blood circulation and it will gently stretch the backs of your legs. After a long run is an especially good time to do this pose since it will help to drain the lactic acid from your legs and decrease soreness!

Legs up the Wall

This pose is also very calming and is a great time for a few minutes of quiet reflection or meditation – and for all you migraine and headache sufferers, it’s been known to help alleviate headaches!

Legs Up the Wall is a simple pose that anyone can do anywhere, but the benefits are amazing and well worth the few minutes of your time!

As usual if you have any questions about incorporating yoga into your running routine please feel free to leave a comment here or you can find me at or on Twitter at @dnardi710.

P.S. – since this will be a regular monthly series, please leave a comment and let me know if there are any specific poses or things you would like me to address in future posts!

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  • This pose is amazing! I used it minutes after finishing the Pittsburgh marathon on Sunday. And, after a day at Disney parks, this pose does wonders for tired legs. What yoga pose would you recommend for tight hamstrings?

  • I love this pose! I actually had to do it one day at Epcot during Marathon Weekend in the locker area. I know I looked ridiculous, and got some looks from some people clearly not at Disney for Marathon Weekend races, but my feet were so swollen that I needed to get the blood out of them.

    • Haha, who cares if you looked ridiculous, I bet it felt amazing! I actually think I did it in Epcot after Wine & Dine one year! The picture on the bottom is my friend Jenn and I doing it in our hotel room after the Wine & Dine after party at like 4am!


  • I’ve definitely done this pose after CrossFit when we finish early. I’m not usually there for 10 minutes, but even the short amount of time I get feels great! And I definitely have did it after the Enchanted 10K (day before the Princess Half)…great way to “kill time” while waiting for the shower! 🙂

    • Hi Alex, glad it helped!

      A simple downward dog is a great stretch for your calves (especially if you “jog your legs” by alternately bending your knees and dropping the opposite heel down), or even a low lunge, but to be honest my go-to for stretching my calves is usually just standing on a stair or a curb and and lowering the heel of one foot at a time until you get a good stretch!

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