The Viparita Karani pose in yoga (legs up the wall) is an incredible beginner-level relaxation exercise. It can be done before or after your yoga or Pilates session or anytime you want to relax your body and need stress relief. This yoga pose benefits your entire body but largely targets your legs and helps to calm your body and mind.
You can practice this pose for a couple of minutes or as long as ten to 15 minutes, depending on your strength and flexibility. Viparita Karani is one of the best poses you can perform for meditation and relaxation or use to end any workout session.
How to perform Viparita Karani pose in yoga? Correct form and technique
As this is a restorative and inversion pose, you may keep a pillow, folded blanket or a bolster next to you while doing this asana.
Follow the below-mentioned instructions to perform the legs-up-the-wall pose accurately:
- Place a yoga or Pilates mat perpendicular to a wall.
- Sit next to the wall such that your feet are on the ground extended in front of you, and the left side of your body directly touches the wall. Keep your hips and shoulders as close as you can to the wall.
- Slowly rotate your body so that your feet and legs go up to the wall. Keep your head away from the wall and lie down. Keep your legs straight, but do not lock your knees.
- Keep your hips and shoulders in a line, and your back and spine straight.
- Move your shoulders away from your ears, and keep your arms relaxed at your sides with your palms up or down.
- Make sure to perfectly balance your body weight side to side.
- Relax your body; lie in that position for a few seconds, and do some deep and easy breathing.
- Let go of your stress as much as you can, and feel the weight of your legs going down through your hips onto the ground.
- Once you feel relaxed, come out of the pose by folding your knees towards your chest. Slowly roll your body to the side, and push your body through your knees and hands.
- Push the weight of your body back to your legs, and come to a standing position. You can even slowly roll your spine up, or stay folded at your hip. Use your hands to help yourself get up.
Here's a video for reference:
Benefits of Viparita Karani pose in yoga
The viparita karani is a relaxing and calming pose. It helps improve blood circulation and also decreases swelling of lower extremities by distributing fluids from your knees, pelvic organs and ankles to your head and entire body.
It activates the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) and stops the sympathetic nervous system (stress response). Apart from that, Viparita Karani pose in yoga has other benefits, including:
- It stretches the back of the legs, torso and the back of the neck.
- It helps relax cramped legs and feet.
- It helps calm the mind.
The Viparita Karani pose in yoga also offers therapeutic benefits for various health problems, including arthritis, digestive problems, anxiety, migraines, urinary disorders, headaches, blood pressure, respiratory problems, varicose veins, insomnia, menopause, mild depression and premenstrual syndrome.
Alhough this pose is easy, make sure to avoid these common mistakes:
Do not hold your breath: When performing the Viparita Karani pose in yoga, make sure you breathe continuously. Don’t hold your breath; rather take deep and conscious breaths, as proper breathing enhances the calmness of this pose.
Do not move fast: When getting into or coming out of this pose, perform each move slowly, and do not twist or force any action. This is especially important if you don’t have much agility and flexibility and find it difficult to back up or go down in the pose.
The viparita karani pose in yoga is a mild inversion pose, so it shouldn’t be performed during menstruation.
You must also avoid this asana if you have glaucoma, serious neck or back problems. Always remember to practice this pose under the guidance of a yoga instructor, and follow the correct form. If you experience any tingling sensation in your ankles or feet, try and bend your knees, and touch your soles. Bring your heels close to your pelvis. and relax.