Yoga, originally from India, has gained popularity among global fitness enthusiasts, including celebrities. The regular practice offers benefits like enhanced flexibility, boosted metabolism, stronger joints and muscles, reduced anxiety and depression, and support for weight loss. Each yoga session involves specific poses called asanas, targeting different body areas for desired outcomes. One such asana is Viparita Karani Asana.
Viparita Karani Asana, a Sanskrit term from the ancient Hindu scripture Gheranda Samhita, literally means 'inverted action.' According to this scripture, the pose cures all ailments. Its origin dates back to the 17th century, aiming to redirect energy to the upper body.
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How to Practise Viparita Karani Asana
To effectively practice Viparita Karani Asana, follow these steps:
- Stand close to the wall, toes touching it.
- Inhale, sit close to the floor, keeping bent knees and toes touching the wall. Exhale, place palms on the floor.
- Inhale, slowly lie down on the floor, legs together. Exhale, fully release your body to the floor.
- Inhale, slowly raise your legs straight, using the wall for support if needed. Adjust hips to align the tailbone close to the wall. Exhale when adjusted.
- Keep legs perpendicular to the wall and upper body, toes pointing downward, heels on the wall.
- Find a comfortable spot.
- Keep neck, shoulders, and chest relaxed.
- Stay in this position for about 12 seconds. Close your eyes, and breathe slowly and rhythmically, with relaxed muscles.
- Inhale, slowly move hips backward, release legs, place feet on the ground close to the wall, and relax the lower back as you exhale.
Viparita Karani Benefits
The Viparita Karani asana offers numerous advantages. Below are the top 15 benefits of practicing Viparita Karani yoga.
1. Improved Blood Circulation
One of the prominent benefits of the Viparita Karani asana is its positive impact on blood circulation. Edema, or swelling of the legs, is often caused by venous insufficiency, leading to blood pooling and clotting in the leg veins. The Viparita Karani asana, with its legs up pose and inverted body position, helps restore normal blood flow to the legs and reduces swelling, alleviating cramping issues.
2. Stress Relief and Mental Calmness
The practice of Viparita Karani asana also enhances blood circulation to the brain, resulting in lower stress levels and a calmer state of mind for practitioners.
3. Improved Brain Efficiency
Regular practice of Viparita Karani promotes alertness in the brain, making it particularly beneficial for those dealing with forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.
4. Skin Rejuvenation
The inverted Viparita Karani pose rejuvenates the entire body, including the brain, which activates the skin and regulates hormones. This rejuvenation can contribute to maintaining a glowing complexion.
5. Hairfall Prevention
By restoring blood flow to the scalp, the Viparita Karani asana stimulates the hair follicles, helping to prevent hair fall and premature greying of hair.
6. Treatment of Hypoactive Thyroid
The inverted position of Viparita Karani improves blood flow to the thyroid gland, aiding in the production of sufficient thyroid hormones for optimal bodily functions.
7. Appetite Enhancement
Some people are malnourished or suffer from nutritional disorders like bulimia, anorexia, or a lack of appetite. Another of the Viparita Karani asana benefits is stimulating the digestive system. Viparita Karani stimulates the digestive system, promoting proper secretion of digestive enzymes and hormones, thereby improving appetite and relieving symptoms of constipation.
8. Sciatica Pain Prevention
The Sciatic Nerve runs along the spine, and when this nerve is compressed partly or wholly, it can cause inflammation and very painful symptoms in the leg. Practicing Viparita Karani helps relax the leg muscles, alleviating strain on the sciatic nerve and preventing painful symptoms in the leg.
9. Relief from Occupational Neck and Shoulder Pains
As most office-going people spend the day sitting in their chairs while working on their computers, they are prone to occupational hazards like neck and shoulder pains. Office-goers who often experience neck and shoulder pains due to prolonged sitting benefit from Viparita Karani, which helps relax these areas.
10. Menstrual Cramp Relief
Many women experience painful menstrual cramps when Aunt Flo visits them every month. This leads to a dramatic negative effect on their performance at work and at home. Viparita Karani poses benefit the abdominal area by relaxing the abdomen and providing relief from menstrual cramps and lower back discomfort.
11. Prevention of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins, or spider veins, are enlarged twisted veins causing discomfort, edema, eczema, and leg pain. They can occur in any age group but are more common in pregnant women, obese, smokers, and those with a family history of varicose veins. Viparita Karani benefits those with varicose veins by facilitating a reverse blood flow that is otherwise uncommon due to prolonged sitting.
12. Athletic Recovery
Athletes benefit from Viparita Karani as it relaxes leg muscles and improves blood supply to the legs and hips after running.
13. Immune System Boost
According to ancient Hindu scriptures, Viparita Karani asana is believed to fortify the immune system against various diseases.
14. Anti-Aging Effects
Viparita Karani enhances blood flow to the upper body, especially the brain, which aids in maintaining skin elasticity, promoting glowing skin, and preventing signs of aging.
15. Toning the Stomach
Regular practice of Viparita Karani asana helps tone the stomach area by improving the digestion process.
Contraindications of Viparita Karani Asana
While Viparita Karani asana offers significant benefits, it requires careful consideration and should be avoided by certain groups of individuals.
- Individuals with eye disorders, such as glaucoma, should refrain from practicing this asana.
- Menstruating women should avoid the Viparita Karani.
- Those experiencing severe back and neck conditions like spondylitis or muscle injuries can attempt Viparita Karani asana only under expert supervision.
- Patients with high blood pressure should refrain from practicing Viparita Karani as it may exacerbate the issue.
- Individuals with heart problems or a history of cardiac arrest should avoid the legs-up-the-wall position.
- Those with hyperthyroidism or enlarged thyroid glands should not perform Viparita Karani asana.
- Pregnant women should also avoid the Viparita Karani pose.
- If you experience a tingling sensation in your feet while performing the asana, bend your knees, bring your heels close to your pelvis, and touch the soles.
In summary, Viparita Karani asana is an invigorating inversion that benefits the spine, brain, feet, and legs. It is a simple asana that offers various advantages without requiring exceptional flexibility or prior yoga knowledge. You can also try Auric energy drink to stay fresh and calm. To ensure safety, especially if you have medical conditions, consult an expert before attempting Viparita Karani asana. Consider incorporating it into your daily routine, and remember to share the benefits it brings to your body.
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About the Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in Ayurveda.