To overcome physical and mental fatigue, the ancient yogis created “Viparita Karani ” meaning opposite of action, that is “no action.” This is an “L” shaped asana where the body is partly reversed, providing an “inverted action” which helps to promote relaxation.
When there is no internal action, the body is rested, the venous return from the lower extremities is smooth, there is no stagnation of blood in the veins and the heart is relaxed. The hips that connect the upper and lower body is rested, renewed and energized.
We all need to relax our body and mind after a strenuous day. When the body is exhausted, restorative asanas such as forward bends are difficult to perform; but this simple asana can be easily performed by everyone, as it requires not much effort.
Viparita Karani is a classic preparation for Sarvangasana.
Cautions: Do not practice this asana: After a surgery, retinal problems, headache and during menstruation.
1. Relieves muscle fatigue, soothes frazzled nerves
2. Relieves leg pain, swelling in the legs and heals varicose veins
3. Refreshes the brain, removes toxins, balances the hormones
4. Refreshes the heart, enhances circulation and boosts overall energy
Lie down on the floor parallel to the wall. Slowly move your head away from the wall, sticking your buttocks close to the wall. Bend your legs and take them up on the wall perpendicular to the floor.
Adjust and align your body in an “L” position, with your hips close to the wall and the back of your legs rested properly on the wall. Place your hands to the sides of your body with palms turned outwards. If you feel any strain in your neck, place a soft pillow under your head to support your neck. If you have the strength and confidence, you can lift your hips and spine off the floor. Practice in a clean and well ventilated room.
For those who do not find Savasana (supine relaxation posture) comfortable can try this asana. Props such as pillows or soft blankets, and eye pillows or pads (over the closed eyes) can be used to relax your eyes. You may play some soothing music to relax your mind.
Coming out of the asana
Bend your knees towards your chest, roll to a side and rest for a few breathings. Then, press your hands into the floor and gently sit up.
Note Senior citizens and pregnant women can conveniently practice this asana when they find Sarvangasana (shoulder stand posture) difficult. Since this asana improves circulation, refreshes the brain and other vital organs, it can be practiced everyday by everyone, irrespective of age or ability.