Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) Steps, Benefits And Precautions

What is the meaning of Viparita Karani 

Viparita Karani is pronounced as ‘vip-par-ee-tahcar-AHN-ee’. The word Viparita means ‘turned around’, ‘reversed’, ‘inverted’ while the meaning of karani is ‘action’. As per Gheranda Samhita, it is the destroyer of all diseases. It means the practice of the yoga pose helps to overcome many dreadful diseases and disorders. The Viparita Karani has given greater weighatge to Gheranda Samhita wherein it has been mentioned that the yoga pose even perish world dissolution.

Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) Steps, Benefits And Precautions
Viparita Karani steps

Philosophy and origin

Viparita Karani is a Sanskrit word Viparita show inverted and Karani denotes to action. It is considered as both asana and mudra. The origin of the yoga pose can be traced into 17th century book Hath yoga. It is also known as Narakasana and Kapalasana too. Viparita Karani is considered as a mudra Hatha yoga wherein the main motto of it is to channelize energy into the upper parts of the body.

How to do Viparita Karani step by step?

  • Lie in relaxed supine position with legs together.
  • Raise the legs up keeping them straight.
  • Push down on the arms and hands and raise the buttock.
  • Support the lower back with hands, keeping elbows on the floor.
  • Remain steady for some time.
  • Inhale and exhale completely, hold the breath and pumping of the stomach; this is Viparita Karani.

What are the benefits of Viparita Karani 

  1. Skin glowing: The practice of the yoga pose helps to glow skin as blood flow to the entire body in an inverted position. Simultaneously, it also invigorates to the brain. Maintaining and regularity also brings lustre to your skin and face.
  2. Hair fall: If somebody is anxious of hair fall problems, they should do the Viparita Karani on regular basis. The practice of the yoga pose ensures smooth blood flow to the head region. The oxygenated blood massages the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles. Thus, the Legs-up-the-wall pose is effective to prevent hair fall, greying of hair and other hair problems.
  3. Anti aging: The practice of the yoga pose helps to glow your skin by increasing the elasticity of it. On the other hand, it also revitalizes the entire body system, especially the upper body region. The smooth flow of blood in the head region is good for cognitive domains as well as hair problems.
  4. Hypoactive thyroid: The inverted yoga pose massages the thyroid gland. It helps to treat hypoactive thyroid.
  5. Stimulates appetite: The practice of The Legs-up-the-Wall pose stimulates the digestive system, which in turn ensures proper secretion of hormone and enzymes in the body. These bio-chemical substances improve digestion; stimulates appetite and helps in relieving constipation.
  6. Mental alertness: The regular practice and maintaining the pose up to certain period of time helps to improves blood circulation to the brain thereby good to increase mental alertness.
  7. Diseases protector: It has been mentioned in many yogic texts that the practice of the yoga pose cure whatever the ailment you have.
  8. Cramped legs: It is good to overcome the issues of cramped and tired legs.

Contradictions and cautions of Viparita Karani 

Some of the side effects and precautions of performing Viparita Karani are:

  • High blood pressure: The Sadhaks who are having high blood pressure shouldn’t practice this yoga pose as it worsens the condition.
  • Heart disease: In case of cardiac condition, the practicing of Legs-up-the-wall pose should be restricted.
  • Thyroid problems: It also shouldn’t be practiced by the patients who have enlarged thyroid.
  • Menstruation: It should be avoided during menstruation.
  • Eyes problems: It should also not to be practiced, if somebody has serious eye problems such as glaucoma.
  • Neck injury: Skip it if you have neck injury.
  • Back problems: If you have back issues, perform it only in the presence of experienced yoga teacher.

Theraputic Applications of Viparita Karani

  • Digestive problems
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Varicose vein
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Menopause
  • Premenstrual syndrome

Beginner’s tip

Performing Viparita Karani is not so easy for the beginners. However, with practice, the pose has become easy for anyone. Before practicing the Legs-up-the-wall pose, one should practice Uttana Padasana and Ardha halasana. These postures will help you to raise the legs upto a certain height and with the help of palms and hands, the rest work has become easy. In spite of these, if somebody has still problems, then use a wall or other person support in performing the pose.

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