Viparita Karani is often called Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, but viparita actually means “inverted,” and karani means “in action.” We can interpret that to mean that the pose inverts the typical actions that happen in our bodies when we sit and stand. There are many benefits to inverting the actions in your body. Here are a few.
The first advantage of this posture is that it does not require any efforts. You just lie on the floor with your legs resting against the wall. No sweat, no special equipment – just your body, the wall, and, to make it more therapeutic, a yoga block or a folded towel under your lower back.
Be it a morning or the series time in the evening, you are likely to find 20 spare minutes to relax on the floor in a beneficial way. It’s just that simple.
Here is what health benefits may follow if you dedicate twenty minutes of your daily routine to holding this posture.
#1. Your muscles will thank you
Regardless of whether you are a fan of heels of not, you can eliminate the tension in your leg, foot and hip muscles that results from walking for a long time or wearing shoes with stiletto heels. Your sore muscles will benefit from the session as they relax and do not bear all this weight.
#2. No swollen feet and legs
Holding your legs up can help regulate blood flow. Your feet and legs become swollen due to having too much fluid in the tissues. It usually happens if you have problems with your blood pressure, or some diseases that cause water retention. When you lift your legs, gravity helps normalize the pressure in the tissues, and they become less swollen.
Exercising in the morning is more effective than exercising during other parts of the day, so why not introducing this posture into your daily routine?
#3. Better digestion
Legs Up The Wall is one of the postures that benefit digestion. As more blood flows to your bowels, it becomes easier for them to move the food being processed by the gastrointestinal tract. By promoting vermicular movement, you can reduce the risk of constipation.
#4. Calming effect
When you are in this posture, it is usually easier to breathe, which means more oxygen gets into your blood, thus helping the brain function better. As you relax, you also get less nervous, and tension in your neck vanishes. The benefits for your nervous system can be felt even as you lie on the floor, so you don’t have to do it for several consecutive days to experience the effect for the first time.
#5. Improved sleep
It can be difficult to fall asleep when your legs and feet are tingling and there is not enough oxygen in your blood. Sleep hygiene is one of the aspects of improving your sleep, and the posture in question can be a nice addition.
However beneficial to health the posture may be, you should consult a doctor whether it is right for you to do it. It is especially true of those with hypertension, problems with spine, or leg injuries.
When you decide to try it, don’t forget that your body should not be too far from the wall. Moving it too close would be a mistake too – let there be a couple of inches between you and the surface.
Another tip is to wear loose clothes that do not prevent blood from flowing normally; otherwise the effect could even be the opposite! No tight socks or pants – choose something that stretches well. If no one sees you, you can even be naked to ensure no fabric reduces the effect.
Precaution of Viparita Karani
If you have a back problem, just keep a soft block or a folded blanket beneath your back and then start with the asana.
Viparita Karani should also be avoided if you have serious eye problems, neck or back problems.
A person having hip or knee injuries should avoid doing this asana.
Do not be in hurry to move fast while doing the asana, as it can put the tremendous amount of stress onto the spine.
Should be avoided during pregnancy.
Glaucoma, hypertension or hernia patients should also not try this asana.