Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting a Leg Up

Marsi has convinced me it's time to think very seriously about starting yoga.
Once again, here's Marsi. Merci cherie.

Welcome to the fourth and final installment on All Things Drainage. I promised three weeks ago that we'd go from head to toe -- and at last, here we are.

I must confess, today's discussion is my favorite. Why? Well, it's the most soothing, the most indulgent, and requires the least effort. It's all about the legs.

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose

Making gravity work for, rather than against, you.
I love, love, love this maneuver and do it on the daily during the summer, when the heat outdoors sends all of my fluids to my legs and feet. This is a restorative yoga posture called Vitaripa Kirani, or legs-up-the-wall pose.

Although the photo above depicts using a bolster for the lumbar spine and resting the legs perpendicular to the floor, I rarely do it this way. I just lie on my bed with my legs at 70-ish degrees (often with a soft bend in my knees to keep me from hyperextending the joint), and I don't typically use a bolster unless that particular evening my lower back needs it. When I take a restorative yoga class though, we go all out with blankets and bolsters for support, and it really feels delicious. If you'd like to try it, Yoga Journal has complete instructions here.

My secret for the ultimate drainage treat is to apply cotton pads soaked with chilled eau de bleuet to my closed eyes, slick my legs with revitalizing gel (see below), and lie back with my legs up the wall for 20 minutes. Sheer, utter bliss.

Topical Leg Tonic

Butcher's broom, an essential ingredient
for leg drainage and revitalization.
Though legs-up-the-wall pose is often enough to release the fluids in your legs and feet, it's also nice to do a soothing herbal treatment at the same time. Butcher's broom seems to be the most important extract to look for, because it stimulates blood flow and decreases fluid retention. Arnica is another; it's a vasodilator and is marvelous for healing bruises and other skin wounds. Then there are menthol and camphor, both of which feel extremely cooling on the skin. You can practically feel the fluids draining away as soon as you apply menthol or camphor to your legs and feet.

I'm currently using Coronet Great Legs Revitalizing Gel and like it quite a bit. The menthol gel is so cooling that I usually feel a bit chilly during maneuvers and keep a scarf handy to wrap up. But when my Coronet runs out, I'm tempted to try Melvita Relaxing Leg Gel. Melvita is a French skincare company specializing in organic botanical ingredients. Their products (including eau de bleuet) are lovely.

Drain, baby, drain.
You saw this coming, didn't you? Of course you did.

* * *

I'll be back next week with my latest finding on ... whatever. Till then, ladies, drain on!

No comments:

Post a Comment