To overcome leg pain, physical and mental fatigue and improve circulation, and provide rest to the organs, the ancient yogis created an asana with legs up on the wall and called it “Viparita Karani ” a Sanskrit word meaning “opposite of action” or no action.
In Viparita Karani, the venous return is smooth, there is no stagnation of blood in the veins, circulation in the whole body improves and the heart is rested.
Viparita Karani is beneficial when practiced in the evening after returning home from work. It is practiced as a preparatory asana for Sarvangasana.
Cautions: Do not practice after any surgery, when there is retinal problems, when you have an headache, avoid during menstruation.
1. Relieves overall fatigue, muscle fatigue and pain.
2. Relieves swelling in the legs, strengthens the knees and ankles.
3. Refreshes the brain, calms the tense nerves, balances the hormones.
4. Relaxes the heart, improves circulation and venous return from lower extremity.
Instructions: Lie down on the floor parallel to the wall. Gently 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 on 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. Practice in a clean and well ventilated room.
For those who do not find Savasana (supine relaxation) comfortable can try this asana. Props such as pillows or soft blankets, eye pillows or pads can be used. Play soothing music and relax.
Coming out of the asana
Bend your knees towards your chest, roll to a side and stay for few breaths. Press your hands into the floor and gently sit up.
Note: Senior citizens and pregnant women can conveniently practice this asana if they find Sarvangasana difficult.