Say Hello to Your New Best Friend!


by Isabel Allen, Yoga Instructor

You're running late, moving way too quickly and BOOM! You just spilled coffee on your new pants. You finally make it in your car and DAMN, red tail lights everywhere. The only thing waiting for you at work are deadlines on the way-too-close horizon. SHIT! Why did that idiot just cut you off?!? You’re trying to keep your cool, but you are already thinking about the after work to-do list before the day has a chance to begin. Return overdue library books (yes, people still use the library), get sister’s birthday present for party tomorrow, make that dentist appointment. And then you realize you’re hangry. Stupid green juice just isn’t enough to stand the storm of what’s coming next…

first: stop

second: breathe

third: let me help you help yourself

REMINDER: None of these things are the end of the world. However, when compounded, we easily move from simply stressed to overwhelmed and out-of-control. The greatest advice in these moments is to pause, breath, and cease the rabbit hole of mental madness. Bummer for us, adjusting a mindset in the midst of chaos can be damn near impossible. So, I am here to offer you a physical adjustment we often do at the end of a yoga class to help reset the mind and regain control of your life.


Legs Up the Wall

Time for Legs Up the Wall

How to: It’s as simple as it sounds:

  • lay flat on your back with your legs up the wall
  • your entire spine rests on the floor
  • the backside of your entire legs rest up the wall
  • it’s easiest if you scootch your toosh sideways against the wall, lengthen the legs up the wall and then lie on your back
  • Note: if you are like me and are “hamstring challenged,” bend your knees to ensure that your entire spine is resting on the floor

The relief is instantaneous. Here’s the story behind what’s going on:

  • lymph fluid floods back into your body relieving swollen ankles and knees
  • boosts blood circulation, revitalizing bodily function
  • gravity allows femur to settle back into hip socket, reversing the effects of sitting in a chair all day

How this helps you:

  • settles mind
  • boosts recovery
  • alleviates headaches
  • improves mood
  • ancient Hindu scriptures even claim that this pose banishes old age and death (not too shabby!)


A Tool for Many Scenarios

This pose can be practiced almost anywhere for any length of time. Beyond just helping you de-stress, this pose is an excellent choice right before bedtime to help you catch deeper zzzzs or after a tough leg workout to give your lower body the ultimate break from engagement. For me, it’s my go-to anti-stress super-shield. So next time the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you’re having a hard time falling asleep or your feet hurt from that super long run, give your new best friend a visit…. and as always, remember to breathe.

Isabel Allen

Isabel Allen is a rockstar instructor and an integral member of our Community Relations team at YoYoYogi.

Isabel believes in Power Vinyasa Yoga, because it pulls everything together. It forces you to be intensely present, work hard, and feel things. When things get hard, there is room for growth, expansion and opportunity. Individuals have the choice of how hard and how far to push themselves. That is where the true beauty lies. In yoga and in life, you get out of it exactly what you put into it. Isabel chooses to practice with a sense of joy and gratitude. In turn, this the fuel to the fire of her practice.


YoYoYogi is a locally-owned, family-run studio in the heart of the Pearl District. Since opening the doors in 2010, this studio has become Portland’s chosen place for mind-bendin’, body-stretchin’, peace-providin’ yoga. Just last year, YoYoYogi was recognized as one of the top 10 studios in the nation!

Yoga only for the bendy, skinny, pretzel variety? Ha! Not at YoYoYogi. This studio calls loudly for the young and old, thick and thin, big dudes and tiny Grandmas everywhere! It’s a place where all can gather to practice, play, learn, grow, laugh, and share.

At YoYoYogi, many of the best teachers in Portland come together under one beautiful, historic roof to bring you their unique and always awesome brand of yoga. Hot or Not. Power to Restorative. Beginner to Advanced. With 20 teachers, 50+ classes, wide variety of yoga, there is something for everyone!

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1306 NW Hoyt St. PDX, OR - (503) 688-5120

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