Viparita Karani: The Yoga Pose You Did Not Know You Needed

By Lyle Topping
Woman doing yoga pose

The Viparita Karani pose has recently taken the yoga world by a gentle storm.

“From the word ‘Viparita’ meaning ‘reversed’ and ‘Karani’ meaning ‘in action,’ we can understand that what many of us think of as ‘legs up the wall pose’ is intended to reverse and rebalance fluids, blood flow and energy,” said Emma Newlyn, a yoga teacher, writer and holistic therapist.

How do I do it?

This pose can be achieved by using your hands to support your lower back and extend your legs into the air. If this feels uncomfortable, try supporting yourself against a wall. Extend your legs up with a small pillow supporting your lower back.

What are the benefits?

There are three main benefits to practicing the Viparita Karani, according to yoga experts. When done continuously, this pose could aid in giving your immune system a boost and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. It could also help relieve aching muscles and joints. Carving 5-10 minutes out of your day to do this simple pose can help you decompress after a long day. According to EkhartYoga, resting in an inverted position allows your breathing to slowdown. This communicates to the vague nerve that it’s safe to start fully relaxing.

This pose can also help bring in fresh blood flow to the upper exterminates because it stimulates lymphatic fluid flow. According to Newlyn in her article published in EkhartYoga, “The lymphatic system plays an important role in filtering and breaking down bacteria and other potentially harmful cells, but the nodes that do most of the filtering are found on the neck, armpits, stomach and groin, which is why inverted postures like this are so vital for sending fluid there.”

The Viparita Karani pose is easy to do no matter the level of experience you have in yoga. It is also easy to fit into any busy schedule or workout routine because all you need is a wall (and perhaps a pillow). After a long day on your feet, this pose is a perfect way to bring it to a calming close.

Alternative Yoga

Rest Your Eyes with Yoga

Yoga for Anxiety

The Roots and Branches of Yoga