Viparita Karani, Legs up the Wall Pose

About Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose)

Viparita Karani is a mild inversion and another name of the viparita karani is also known as the Inverted Lake Pose. It is also known as Legs up the wall pose. It provides anti-aging effects on your body, apart from several other health benefits. According to some Hindu scriptures Viparita Karani not only reduces the wrinkles from the face but also keeps both death and old age at bay. Viparita karani is a restorative pose which allows the circulation of blood to every part of the body. That is the reason, it is considered as the best asana as it is able to relieve most of the diseases.

What You Should Know before doing this Asana?

This asana should be performed on an empty stomach. Before four to five hours of practicing yoga one should have his/her meals. Along with this make sure that your bowels are completely empty. It is wonderful and beneficial if you practice yoga early in the morning. Always leave a good gap between your yoga practicing and your meals.

What are the Steps which should be followed?

Many people enjoy using props like bolsters, pillows and folded blankets while doing this asana due to its restorative nature. While doing this asana keep a prop of your choice next to you. Then, follow the steps which are listed below:

  1. Search an open space near a wall and sit close to it in such a way that your feet are on the ground or floor, spread in front of you, and the left side of one's body should be touching the wall.
  2. Breathe out. Lie on your back and make sure that the back of your legs should press against the wall and that the soles of your feet should be facing upwards. It will take a little time to be comfortable in this position.
  3. Keep your buttocks a little bit away from the wall or press them toward the wall or against the wall.
  4. Make sure that your back as well as head are resting on the ground or floor. You will find that your body makes an angle of 90 degree.
  5. Raise your hips up and now place a prop under them. You could also use your hands to support your hips and form that curve in your lower body.
  6. Keep your head as well as your neck in a neutral position and soften your throat as well as your face.
  7. Now, close your eyes and breathe. Hold the position for at least four to five minutes. Release the asana and roll to any one side. Breathe before sitting up.

What are the Benefits of Viparita Karani?

There are some amazing benefits of Viparita Karani which are as follows:

  • It helps in relaxing tired and cramped feet as well as legs.
  • It helps in stretching the front of torso, back of the legs, and back of the neck.
  • It helps in relieving a mild backache.
  • The viparita karana asana helps in soothing and calming the mind.

This asana has therapeutic benefits too:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Mild depression
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Varicose veins
  • High and low blood pressure
  • Migraines
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Urinary disorders
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Menopause

What are tips for beginners?

Before you do the asana you might find it hard to get the alignment right in this pose. For this you should breathe in such a way that the head of your thigh bones are firmly pressed against the wall. This will be beneficial in releasing your belly, spine and groin. You must imagine the breath in descend through the torso and pushing the heads of the thigh bones next to the wall. Let your thigh bones press harder onto the wall and pull away your torso from the wall while exhaling every time.

What are the contraindications of viparita karani?

These are some points of precautions you must keep in mind:

  • This asana is a mild inversion so it should be avoided during menstrual period.
  • Avoid this asana if you are suffering from severe eye problems such as glaucoma.
  • Make sure you do this asana under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor, if you have serious neck and back problems.
  • If you notice a tingling sensation in your feet while practicing this asana, bend your knees and touch the soles and bring your heels close to the pelvis.

Pose variations

You can spread your legs in a wide 'V' when they are against the wall, if you have enough space. This will increase the stretch in the groin as well as in the region of the thighs. Bend the knees and touch the soles together, if possible. Then, slide the outer edges of the feet in the downward direction and bring and place your heels closer to your pelvis. Push your hands in the direction of the top of the inner thighs so as to increase the stretch in the groin.

The Science behind the Viparita Karani

This asana is an energizing inversion which helps in relieving the spine, legs, feet and the nervous system. It gently brings the body into a state of relaxation (complete). It does not depend on the level of experience. Any yoga student can do this asana. It is believed that when you take some time off in your day to reverse the forward movements of doing, acting and accomplishing, your body and brain get into a state of pure being. Which will allows the mind to go into a state of deep meditation. It also helps in calming the brain and makes it more self-aware. But this asana can also be practiced independently, and not as a part of daily routine.

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