The term Viparita Karni like other yogasanas is derived from Sanskrit where “Viparita” means “Opposite” or “Inverted” and “Karani” means “to do”. It is counted among the yoga inversion poses and is a slight inversion pose. Because, the body is not completely upside down in this pose.
Why its Important to do Viparita Karani or Legs up the Wall
The term Viparita karani is also associated with the fact that it reverses the actions that the body generally performs in its normal state. While in viparita karani, blood circulates to the head, which helps flush out toxins and brightens the skin. It also helps relieve stress. Regular practice of Viparita karani or Legs on the wall pose helps to get a clear face and skin glow as toxins are removed from the body. It also helps supply oxygenated blood to the organs, which helps maintain a person’s organ health and longevity.
When to do Legs up the Wall or Viparita Karani
Like other asanas, Viparita karani or Legs on the wall pose maximum benefits when practiced early in the morning. Early morning is considered best for practicing yoga poses, as the body cools down after a good night’s sleep and food is digested in the morning. However, if for some reason you cannot practice it in the morning, you can practice this pose at any time during the day. However, make sure the food is digested, or you must have had food 3-4 hours before yoga practice.
Steps to practice Viparita Karani or legs up from the wall pose
- To practice Viparita karani or Legs on the wall pose, you must sit around an open space near the wall. You can sit on the yoga mat or on the floor.
- Sit so that your legs are straight in front of you and the left side of your body is touching the wall.
- If you are practicing the compatible version of Viparita karani or Legs up from the wall pose, you can sit on the floor against the wall.
- Gently roll your body to the left and lift your legs up against the wall. You can use your hands to keep your balance as you change weight.
- Bring your buttocks to touch the wall. In this position your heels will face the ceiling.
- Lower your back to the ground and stay in this position comfortably.
- Bring your shoulders and head to rest on the floor.
- Make sure to leave your arms open at your sides, palms up.
- Let the leg muscles relax while holding this position while practicing Viparati Karni or Legs in the wall position.
- Close your eyes, relax in this position and calm your mind.
- Keep your head and neck straight and in a neutral position.
- To use an accessory at this point, lift the buttocks and slide a support under the buttocks.
- Hold this position for a few minutes or for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Always be aware of your breathing while practicing Viparita karani or Legs in the wall pose.
- To release the pose, roll both legs back to one side and lie down in Shavasana after practice.
- Viparita karani is a restorative yogic investment that helps treat many disorders, so people with back, knee or other problems can use accessories such as a yoga strap, yoga blocks or blankets.
Breathing pattern to be followed while practicing Viparita Karani or legs up, wall pose
- Hold a steady breath while lying on your back for a few seconds. Inhale and exhale deeply.
- Inhale deeply while lying down with the left side of your body pressed against the wall.
- Exhale deeply as you lift your legs up toward the wall. Beginners may have a hard time exhaling as they rise, but they will come gradually with constant practice.
- Hold your breath when you are in the final pose if you are an advanced practitioner for a few breaths. Beginners can continue to breathe normally.
- Exhale as you return to the starting position of Viparita karani or Legs in the wall pose.
- Exhale once more after returning to the starting position of Viparita karani or Legs in the wall pose.
Preparatory and follow-up poses for Viparita Karani or legs up the wall Pose
- Preparatory Poses: The different preparatory poses for Viparita karani are: Uttanasana or the camel pose, Setu bandana or the bridge pose, Urdha Mukha Svanasana or The Upward Dog Pose and Urdhva Dhanurasana or the upward bow pose, Gomukhasana or The Cow Faced Pose, Virasana or the hero pose, Supta Virasana or the reclining hero pose, Bhujangasana or the cobra pose.
- Follow-up Poses: The various follow-up poses for Viparita karani are: Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand, Padmasana or the Lotus Pose, Marjariasana or the Cat Pose or Cat Stretch, Bhu Namanasana or the Land Worship Pose
Benefits of practicing Viparita Karani or legs in the wall pose
- Viparita karani or legs above the wall is the pose with the maximum benefits. Tones the whole body.
- This pose massages the abdominal organs and stimulates the digestive system, which in turn improves digestion.
- The Viparita karani or Legs up the wall posture is beneficial to improve blood circulation throughout the body, thus eliminating excess toxins from the body.
- It makes you feel fresh when practiced regularly.
- One of the benefits of Viparita karani is that it helps to get rid of acid reflux when practiced regularly.
- The arms, thighs, shoulders, legs, calf muscles, and hips are strengthened with regular practice of this pose.
- It also helps to strengthen the central muscles of the body.
- Your hamstrings will also tone and strengthen with regular practice of this pose.
- It also helps improve body posture.
- Regulates metabolism and helps lose weight when practiced regularly.
- It helps balance the mind, increases the power of concentration and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thought process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of this pose.
- It also helps get rid of stress and mild depression.
- Viparita karani or the legs on the wall also help reduce ailments of the respiratory system, as they help increase the lung capacity of your body when practiced with proper breathing techniques.
- Viparita karani or legs on the wall is a full body energizer and revitalizes and improves your concentration.
- Help and tone your hips and hamstrings.
- It is also useful for lengthening the spine and opening the chest.
- Viparita karani or legs on the wall are specifically recommended to relieve lower back pain and help get rid of sciatica.
Precautions and contraindications
- Viparita karani or the legs on the wall put great pressure on the hip, buttock and knee joints, and they should be done carefully and the person should not hurt themselves while practicing. Beginners must be very careful when practicing this pose and can use accessories.
- It could be a difficult and challenging pose to practice for beginners with tight glutes and hamstrings, and should not be performed if there are any major difficulties observed by individuals while practicing asanas.
- People with injured or weak knees should not practice Viparita karani or Legs up in the wall position as it puts a lot of stress on the knees.
- People with back pain and sciatica should practice Viparita karani or legs in the wall pose very carefully.
- You should also avoid practicing this pose if you have a shoulder injury.
- Exit the pose or release it if you feel sudden sharp pain in your legs.
- If you have any questions about your condition, consult a doctor before practicing this pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
- Don’t try too hard when practicing Viparita karani or legs up in the wall pose. Don’t push yourself beyond limits. See only what your body allows.
- This pose should not be practiced if you have frequent headaches and migraines.
- You should also not perform this pose if you have a chronic spinal or neck problem.
- Pregnant women should also not practice this pose as it is a slight investment.
- People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis and other similar conditions are also advised not to practice this pose.
- People with neck injuries are encouraged to look straight and keep their heads in a neutral position while practicing this asana.
- Viparita karani or leg posture against the wall should not be performed if you have any injury or pain in the legs or ankle.
Tips for Beginners
If you can’t keep your head in a neutral position while practicing Viparita karani or your legs up from the wall, you can put a sheet or blanket under your head to support it. Stay in the final Viparita karani position or legs on the wall as long as you can, as your body will benefit more from your body’s holding capacity. You will begin to feel that you must exert yourself while maintaining the posture for 20 seconds; You can increase the holding capacity with constant practice.
- Beginners can start simply by lifting their legs while keeping their upper body on the ground. You can also use your hands for additional support.
- For people who feel some difficulty while practicing Viparita karani or legs on the wall they can use various yoga accessories available.
- For further back strengthening and a greater challenge for your flexibility, extend your arms out to the sides and up, as if you were extending and lifting a pair of wings.
- Keep your focus on the length of your spine. Evenly distribute the stretch across the upper, middle, and lower back, while keeping your torso raised in Viparita karani or your legs up in the wall position, just go as far as you can. Don’t stretch as you raise your body, as it doesn’t matter how high you climb. If done incorrectly, it can strain the back or neck and cause injury.
- While practicing Viparita karani or your legs on the wall pose, if you have enough room, you can spread your legs against the wall at a wide angle so that your legs are parallel to the floor. This will increase strength and stretch in the groin and thighs.
- Advanced practitioners can also increase the stretch by bending the knees and bringing the soles together as in the Baddha konsana or the butterfly position. This will help open the hips as well.
- Advanced practitioners can also slide the outer edges of the feet down and bring the heels closer to the pelvis to increase stretching as the final position of baddha konasana.
- You can also hold your hands and place them against the top of your inner thighs to increase your groin and hamstring stretch.
We had seen What is Legs up the Wall or Viparita Karani. Like all types of yoga, Viparita Karani also gives you immense health benefits. So, just go with Viparita Karani!