The Viparita karani is a pose that can be done by everyone. It is especially famous among athletes, runners and dancers which use it to reduce pain and tightness as well as to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. It is also very beneficial for people who are very stressed out. If you feel like there is too much stress in your everyday life, try this pose at the end of the day to restore your energy and to calm your body and mind.
Viparita Karani Variations
There are a few different ways to perform this pose, and whichever you choose depends on your own abilities.
Legs Straight up the Wall Version
Lie on the back with your bum against the wall, or as close to the wall as possible, with the legs raised straight up the wall hip distance apart. Feel free to prop the bum up on a pillow, particularly if you are pregnant. The soles of the feet should be facing upward toward the ceiling and the arms should be placed beside you for balance. The amount of stiffness in the hips determines how close to the wall your legs are. Ideally, the will be touching the wall, but it might take a while for you to get there.
Legs in a Wide “V” Version
For deeper stretch, do the same as explained above, but insead of keeping the feet hip distance apart, spread the legs into a wide V formation. This will enable you to feel a deeper stretch in the groin area while being gentle at the same time.
Soles Together Version
Turn the knees outward and put the soles of the feet together, with the legs pressed against the wall. This is quite an intense stretch, allowing you to experience the deepest groin stretch from the pose.
This version requires more mobility and balance. If it`s challenging for you, stay there.
Benefits of Viparita Karani
1. Increases Blood Flow and Decreases Inflammation
This pose increases blood flow and circulation, particularly after a day of sitting or standing for an extended period of time. It reduces swellings as well, especially swelling in the feet, ankles, and calves.
2. Improves Hamstring Mobility and Reduces Lower Back Pain
This pose stretches out the hamstrings, which often become shortened as a result of sitting at a desk all day, causing lower back pain. By performing this pose, you will relieve the pressure on the lower back, relieve pain, and improve hamstring mobility.
3. Reduces Stress and Stimulates Relaxation
As it alleviates pain and increases blood flow, this pose also relaxes you. This stimulation of the nervous system brings you into a more relaxed and calmer state. Hence, it also induces sleep and allows you to get a better night`s sleep.