Self-Care Challenge - Day Two: A Restorative Yoga Pose for Everyone

As part of our self-care challenge, we want to introduce you to (or remind you of, as the case may be) different ways to take care of yourself. Today's post focuses on yoga, which many people practice for self-care: not only does it strengthen your body but it can help to quiet your mind from the cacophony of our world. Whether you’re a yogi or a novice, this restorative yoga pose can make you feel more relaxed, more focused, more in tune with your body. And, seriously: in these hectic times, shouldn’t we all put our feet up more often?

We're thrilled to have this guest post from Mimi Denéa who is--among other things--a certified yoga teacher and health coach, yoga therapist, Reiki master, and dancer. Now she can add "Full Belly Sisters blog model" to her curriculum vitae (yes, that's Mimi in the pix!). 

Viparita Karani
"Legs up the wall pose"
(vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee)
viparita = turned around, reversed, inverted
karani = doing, making, action

Our feet have many nerve endings. So it makes sense to give your legs and feet a break at the end of a long day.

Here is a restorative yoga pose that will rock your world. I have added a few variations (see photos) for you to try if you feel like your legs or feet may get numb or tingly from just lying up against the wall. You don't need any props; if you want to use a bolster, blankets or a yoga block you can also place any of those items underneath your low back as extra support to elevate your hips and relieve the low back.

It’s very simple. All you have to do is find a space in your house where you have ample room to lie on the floor and rest your heels on the wall! Not too complicated, eh?

This pose may help to address:
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Headache
  • High and low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Mild depression
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Urinary disorders
  • Varicose veins
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Menopause
Mimi looks pretty darn contented here...
Look at that smile!

It can also:
  • Relieve tired or cramped legs and feet
  • Gently stretch the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck
  • Relieve mild backache
  • Settle the mind
  • Calm your nervous system
  • Bring fresh blood and lymph fluid into your abdomen and organs (very refreshing!)
  • Relieve tension in lower back and sacrum
  • Relax your adrenals
  • Reduce swelling in your feet and legs
  • Release tension and stress from your legs – they will actually feel lighter
  • Allow your heart to rest, since raising your feet above the heart reverses the effects of gravity

Try this pose each day for our seven-day challenge. How does it make you feel?

Misia "Mimi" Denéa has a B.F.A. from Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia. Mimi is also a graduate of New York’s Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner. Her yoga classes are a vigorous vinyasa style, with a focus on flow, prana, rhythm and mindfulness.She has taught yoga throughout the US and abroad, at conferences, universities, to homeless individuals, and to HIV-positive adults; she has journeyed to Belize and India to teach/practice yoga.

She teaches Yoga for Corporate Wellness, as well as Yoga for Women who are curvy and sumptuous. She also leads holistic health and nutrition courses/retreats for groups and individuals who want to overcome emotional eating/overeating. Mimi is enjoying living a vibrant life with a raw vegan, plant-based, nutrient-dense diet. visit or for more information. OM

And don't forget to follow the Full Belly Sisters, both here on our blog and onFacebook, so you don't miss any upcoming self-care tips and guest posts. Post about your challenges and successes and let us cheer you on!


  1. I met my goals yesterday. It's been difficult being out of my element and away from my routines (our home lost power due to the snowstorm so we're crashing with my family). It was hard to feel "settled." But I did what I promised I would do - partly for me, and party because I knew I was accountable to all of you who also committed to this challenge. Accountability can be a good butt-kicker!

    The most difficult for me was not going on the computer after 9pm. I was itching to get on! I think as a SAHM who also works from home, I view the Internet as my connection to the rest of the world. But sometimes it can distract me from my immediate world (ie. my husband sitting next to me while I'm online). And that's not good.

    How are you doing with your goals?

  2. I tried to get a shower in before bed but A developed some kind of ear pain and spent most of the time before she fell asleep screaming her head off, and wanting to be held. By the time she was asleep, I was asleep, too. *sigh*  

  3. This is great! I'm really intrigued by this idea of yoga for thick girls and it totally makes sense. 
    Anyway, I just tried this pose and it was totally relaxing, even with my cat nuzzling my head. 

  4. It's okay, you'll try again tonight. Consciousness is half the battle, right? Hope A is feeling better today :-)

  5. Glad it worked for you! Definitely check out Mimi's Facebook page "Yoga for Thick Jawns" - tell her we sent ya :-)    We're trying to get an FBS/Yoga for Thick Jawns workshop together...difficult when we're in different cities!

  6. nancy! thats great! cat's love yoga tooo!!!!!!!!!!
    i can arrange a yoga for thick girls workshop in your city!
    email me

  7. Mimi, if Justine gets a class together, I'm there! 

  8. Nice post! Hopefully many people will try this pose after reading this post.

    Nayeema Akter


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