The name Viparita Karani comes from Sanskrit, and in translation means upside-down. In yoga, it’s considered an asana, or a pose in which the yogist sits. This is a restorative pose, which can be performed at the end of the practice, or as a stand-alone asana.
Viparita Karani Or Legs Up The Wall
To perform this pose, it’s best to get a yoga mat and yoga blocks for support. Also, you need to be close to a wall, to support your legs on it. Prior to carrying out the pose, you need to determine two things – how high is your support, and the distance between the wall and the mat. If you’re stiff, the yoga blocks need to be lower and farther away from the wall. If you’re more flexible, then you can use higher yoga blocks and put the mat closer to the wall.
Also, if you have a short stature, put the mat closer to the wall. If you’re tall, move it away from the wall. Try different positions until you find the right fit.
If you’re not using a yoga mat, place a very low pillow or blanket under your head, to fill the space between your neck and the floor.
Also, you can tie a yoga strap around your legs.
Sit on the floor, with your buttocks at about 5 inches of distance from the wall. Exhale and in one easy move, position your legs on the wall. Keep your shoulders and head on the floor.
Don’t push your chin towards the chest, but relax the throat and lift your chest towards the chin. Keep your legs relatively tight, just enough to hold them vertically in place. Relax your thighs and stomach. Relax your eyes as well. If necessary, you can cover them with a towel, to relax even more. Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes.
Do not practice Viparita Karani is you have problems or condition like:
- Serious neck and back problems
- Eye problems, like glaucoma
- If you start to feel tingling in your legs or feet while doing Viparita Karani, immediately stop and bring your body in a sitting position
- If you have enough space, you can allow your legs to slide against the wall, until you get them in a ‘V’ position. This will help you stretch your thighs and groin area.
- Bend your knees and connect your soles. The outside area of your feet needs to be against the wall. Slowly bring your heels towards the pelvis.
While doing Viparita Karani, make sure to follow the instructions of a certified yoga teacher.
Viparita Karani Health Benefits
By reversing the effect of gravity on your legs and feet, you can get rid of the water retention that causes swelling.
Relieve Tired Muscles
Putting your legs up the wall will easily relieve the tension in your tired legs, feet, and hips. This effect is even bigger if you put yoga blocks below your buttocks.
Also, if you tie your legs with yoga straps and stay in this position for a longer period of time, your body will be able to relax completely. And, as a result, you’ll feel great relief in your tired and painful legs.
This asana is intended for deep relaxation. When you combine Viparita Karani with rhythmic breath1ing, you wake up your entire nervous system, and improve your ability to deal with all the problems, anxiety, and stress.
In this state, your body will actively digest all you have eaten, and it’ll work on healing and repairing the body. If you practice this asana regularly, you’ll notice a great improvement in your metabolism and overall health.
As previously mentioned, if you practice it for a longer period of time, Viparita Karani can help you nurture your silent mind. Relaxing your body and mind, and focusing on deep breathing will cause a meditative state, which will ultimately help you overcome insomnia.
Improve Blood Circulation
By putting your legs up the wall, opposite to gravitation, you help improve the blood circulation in your body. This is turn shows to be very good for treatment of varicose veins.