You are probably familiar with the mental and physical benefits of practicing yoga. Although you may find most yoga poses difficult to perform, some of them are easy to practice. One such pose is ″Viparita Karani″.

It is also known as ″Legs up the Wall″ or ″Inverted Lake Pose″, since viparita means ″inverted″ while ″karani″ means ″in action″.

It has become widely popular, especially among athletes, runners, dancers and stressed-out office workers due to its ability to relieve pain and reduce anxiety. What’s more, it provides relaxation for both the body and mind and everyone can perform it.

Viparita Karani triggers inversion of the actions in your body. In other words, when you elevate your legs, the lymph which usually leads to swollen ankles and congested pelvic organs, flows into your lower belly, thus refreshing both your legs and the reproductive system.

Benefits of Viparita Karani

• Reduces lower back pain
• Improves hamstring mobility
• Decreases inflammation
• Increases blood flow
• Provides relaxation
• Relieves stress
• Reduces edema in the feet and legs
• The inversion helps in the regulation of the blood pressure
• Stimulates digestion
• It has calming effects on the nervous system
• Helps you to quiet your mind
• Alleviates headaches
• Boosts energy

This yoga pose has several therapeutic variations, which you can perform depending on your abilities. If you have never been practicing yoga before, then you should start with the simplest version and gradually work your way into the other poses.

1. The Wall Version

This is the simplest form of Viparita Karani and it involves lying on the back with the legs extending straight up the wall. In case you are pregnant, place a pillow under your bum. Your feet should be facing the ceiling, while your arms should be open for keeping balance.

You can also keep them folded across your chest. The amount of stiffness in your hamstrings and hips determines how close to the wall your legs are.

2. Wide ″V″ Version

This version requires the very same position as the previous one, but this time your legs should be spread into a wide ″V″ formation. This provides deeper stretch in your groin area.

3. Soles Together Version

Turn your knees outwards and put the soles of your feet together. Make sure your legs are fully pressed against the wall. You can also bring your feet down, closer to the pelvic region. This pose gives an intense groin stretch which may cause pain. In case you feel any discomfort, stop practicing this variation because your body isn’t ready for it.

4. Advanced Version

This version requires mobility and balance. If you have found the first variation pretty challenging, then you should stay there. On the other hand, if you feel comfortable performing the previous three variations, you are ready for the advanced version.

However, feeling pain while performing the poses means you should practice the one that doesn’t cause any discomfort. For those who feel ready for the advanced variation, check out the video below for further details.

Contraindications:

Avoid performing Viparita Karani if you suffer from serious neck or back problems. In such case, make sure you consult your physiotherapist before opting for it. People with glaucoma, hernia and hypertension should avoid performing this pose, as well as women during menstruation.

However, if you do not have any health issues, you can practice Viparita Karani before each athletic event since it relieves stress, reduces pain, provides relaxation and increases the blood flow. Make sure you practice it for 10 or 15 minutes a day.