To overcome physical and mental fatigue, the ancient yogis created “Viparita Karani ” This is a Sanskrit word which means “opposite of action” i.e., no action. The legs are raised above the hips, the pressure from the legs are reduced / eliminated, providing relief from fatigue and pain.
In Viparita Karani, internal body is rested, there is no stagnation of blood in the veins, the venous return from the lower extremities is smooth, and the heart is relaxed. This asana can be easily practiced, as it requires no effort.
Viparita Karani is beneficial when practiced in the evening after returning home from work, as it removes physical strain and stress. It is practiced by the beginners as a preparatory asana for Sarvangasana.
Cautions: Do not practice this asana after any surgery, when there is retinal problems, during a headache or during menstruation.
1. Relieves muscle fatigue and pain
2. Relieves leg pain, swelling in the legs, heals varicose veins
3. Refreshes the brain, calms the tense nerves, balances the hormones
4. Relaxes the heart, improves venous return from lower extremity. 5. Improves circulation in the whole body
Instructions: 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 breaths. Gently press your hands into the floor and sit up.
Note: Senior citizens and pregnant women can conveniently practice this asana when they find Sarvangasana difficult.