The anti-anging yoga asana – Viparita Karani!
Although today most think ‘viparita karani’ means “legs up the wall”, the literal translation is “active reversal” or “to be inverted”.
Practiced regularly, it can perk up every system of the body, from digestion to circulation to even our mental state. It is said to be one of the healing, rejuvenating, ‘anti-aging’ asanas and our ancient yogis who looked extremely young and healthy prove that!
How do we do Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)?
- Place your buttocks against the wall.
- Lay down on your back, with your head and back resting on the ground.
- Lift your legs upwards so you are supported by the wall, in an L position. The hips, knees and ankles are to be in a straight line perpendicular to the floor.
- The elbows are used to support the hips.
The Innumerable Benefits Of This Asana
The inversion poses of yoga create the distinctive situation of completely reversing the usual effect of gravity on our bodies.
The feet and legs no longer have act as weight bearers of the body. The bones, muscles and joints of the hips and legs get a break from their normal work, bringing relief from arthritic complaints.
It helps to reduce water retention in the legs and assists with the venous blood return to the heart. There is also better blood supply to the brain, throat and chest which means more nutrition and oxygen supply.
Organs shift into their proper places and improve assimilation, digestion, and elimination. This in turn produces the effect of increasing the body’s ability to remove toxins.
A relaxation response is carried through the body/mind and the nervous system is soothed.
The glands, especially the ones in the throat, (the thyroid and parathyroid), can be influenced positively to balance their hormonal secretions.
When should we avoid this asana?
- People with neck injuries and/or a very stiff neck and shoulders
- Since the eye pressure is increased, people with eye problems should not do the pose.
- During menstruation, the legs up wall, hips on floor variation may help with menstrual cramps. The other variations are not to be done in this period.