1. Improves Digestion
Movement in the abdomen helps to massage the intestine which helps fight constipation and boosts digestion. Your appetite may also increase due to better, and consequently, quicker elimination of digested food.
2. Promotes Healthy Circulation
As this is considered to be an inverted pose, blood flow increases to the upper part of the body, bringing a rush of oxygen with it. Your lymphatic system also gets a good flush. This helps to reduce the swelling in the lower extremities and can assist with blood pressure problems.
3. Aids in Pain Relief
This pose works the muscles in the pelvis and helps to strengthen the reproductive organs, ease menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause. It also exercises stiff joints beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia. Leg cramping can subside with regular practice. This pose also aids with headache relief and prevention, especially those caused by slow-moving blood.
4. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Relaxing on your back with your legs elevated helps calm your mind and helps you to let go. Combined with deep breathing this pose helps you to slow down and lets your parasympathetic nervous system take over. Best of all, you get to lie there and let your mind drift.
5. Stretches Hips, Legs, Back
Your calf and leg muscles, hamstrings and back will get a good stretch with this pose. Your neck and hips will also feel a good stretch as you move into and out of the pose. Over time, it will make your body more flexible and elastic and it will relieve tension and pain in those areas. Practice on a regular basis to help heal chronic back pain.
Tips: A slight bend in the knee is fine if you have some trouble keeping your legs vertical. Just be sure to keep your spine aligned for maximum benefit. If you want a deeper stretch, spread your feet into a small 'V' formation. To start, begin slowly, no more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time until your body adjusts to being in this position. In time, you can build up to 15 minutes.
However, if you have a neck, hip or back injury you should avoid doing this pose. In addition, people with glaucoma or a history of cardiac or stroke issues should avoid this asana as it may increase pressure around the head and the heart. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor first if you have major health issues.